Adult toy shop drives out Visalia’s exotic reptiles business

Ian Lockwood is not the style of person to communicate at Visalia City Council meetings. In reality, they had been trembling, voice quivering as they spoke in front of a packed room past week. 

Joined by buddies and loved ones, Lockwood begged the city for aid.

Without its assist, additional than 40 animals will be euthanized although other people will remain free to roam all through the streets and bushes of Visalia, Tulare and the encompassing places.

“I have assisted animal command for several years now and… I unselfishly give my time and means,” Lockwood said on June 20. “Now I’m asking for your assistance.”

Lockwood has served help you save 1000’s of area animals over the very last six-as well as many years as Exotic Reptiles. That quickly modified when the rescue off Mooney Boulevard was pressured to shut its doorways in 2021 just after Adam and Eve, an grownup toy shop, moved in up coming door bringing with it a surprise lease increase Lockwood could not satisfy.

Now, Lockwood rents a 2,000-square foot facility behind Farmersville’s Valley Pure in order to dwelling likely pets like Silas, Hamilton, Daisy, Donald and Gizmo — just to title a couple of.

Only 4 of the animals are Lockwood’s, the relaxation are rescues ready to be adopted – like Tag and Frat Boy ended up last week.  

The Wise Frog, one of the few exotic reptile shops in Tulare County, may shut down if it doesn't receive help from the city.

‘Never-ending cycle’

Although the range of sheltered animals is at the moment in the mid-40s, Lockwood gets calls just about every day – from group members and animal management alike – asking if they have area for a further.  

From time to time the reply is sure, but a good deal of the time it’s no. 

“I’m the only a single below. I like to hold the doors open so that I can rescue the subsequent (animal),” stated Lockwood, who prefers they/them pronouns. “It’s like a under no circumstances-ending cycle.” 

One working day immediately after Lockwood publicly spoke, The Clever Frog Reptile Rescue obtained two phone calls asking if the shop experienced home for reptiles they desired to surrender. 

Only 1 created it to the store. 

The Wise Frog, one of the few exotic reptile shops in Tulare County, may shut down if it doesn't receive help from the city.

Irrespective of urging the 2nd caller to release the non-venomous gopher snake into the wild, the reptile was killed in the caller’s backyard mainly because Lockwood couldn’t make the trip to Clovis right until after their store closed at 5 p.m. 

“Sometimes they clearly show up, and in some cases they really don’t,” they claimed. “It’s everyday, and it’s heartbreaking.”

In accordance to Lockwood, all over 75% of the animals surrendered to the Smart Frog fall under animal abuse.