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Exotic pet surrenders surge at Durham animal rescue facility

Posted May 14, 2020 4:43 p.m. EDT
Updated May 14, 2020 10:17 p.m. EDT

— Some exotic pets have lost their homes during the coronavirus pandemic. A Durham rescue has seen a surge of surrenders coming into its shelter.

The small non-profit is in need of support to keep up with the care.

The non-profit has a rescue room where many exotic surrenders are brought in for a 30-day quarantine.

Leopard and golden geckos, ball pythons and Brazilian Rainbow boas, are just a few exotic reptiles you can find at ‘BeWild’ Rescue.

“We’ve gotten a lot more surrenders lately because people just can’t afford to take care of their pets anymore," said Nicole D'Avignon, co-director of BeWild. "We have a lot more medical cases. So, a lot of the animals that we are getting in are having severe medical issues."

The drastic increase of exotic pet surrenders D’Avingnon and co-director A.J. Hallat caring for a total of 15 animals compared to just their average eight or nine a week.

“We’ve gotten a couple animals recently that were found outdoors. We don’t know for sure if these animals were released or they escaped,’ said Hallat.

With the coronavirus pandemic cutting the volunteer staff in half and medical bills for new intakes piling up, BeWild now has a waiting list for new intakes.

“The resources run out really fast and we can only take in as many animals as we can possibly help," Hallatt added.

The rescue is stretched for resources. A few animals have been adopted, but concern is growing that new rescues could be sheltered for months due to coronavirus hardships.

“A lot of people just can’t afford to take care of things anymore or they even have to move housing because of coronavirus and they can’t bring them with them," D’Avagnon added.

The directors would also like to remind anyone who finds an exotic pet outdoors to just call their local animal shelter for assistance or report it.

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