1. ITV Report

RSPCA raise concerns over exotic animals kept as pets after thousands of calls

The RSPCA received more than a thousand calls about exotic animals last year in Greater Manchester and Merseyside.

The charity organisation believes the reason behind some of the suffering of these animals is that owners do not do their research and don’t understand the type and amount of care that they need, resulting in them being neglected, dumped or escaping.

This python was found in a box on the side of the road Credit: RSPCA

Among the exotic animals the RSPCA was called about in Merseyside last year was a python dumped at the side of a road in Liverpool.

RSPCA inspector Alison Fletcher was shocked to find the snake curled up in a corner of the box with no food or water.

She initially thought the reptile was dead as it wasn’t moving but she soon realised it was because the snake was cold and rushed it to an emergency vets for treatment.

Reptiles and other exotic pets are completely reliant on their owners to meet their welfare needs including requiring the correct levels of heat, light and humidity, plus an appropriate diet. Many of the animals we’re called to help are found stray outside, where they can very quickly suffer in the cold.

These animals are commonly found for sale in pet shops and are advertised online.

– Stephanie Jayson, RSPCA Senior Scientific Officer
This African Brown house snake was found in a kitchen in Stockport Credit: RSPCA

Last year a snake found inside an oven in Stockport. The snake slithered into a home in Hazel Grove, giving a couple a fright when they went to put chips in the oven.

RSPCA officer Stephanie Jayson said : "We believe that people may buy them with little idea of how difficult they can be to keep and the animals are sometimes neglected when the novelty wears off and the commitment hits home".