Houston’s exotic pets are being returned. Why?

Houston’s exotic pets are being returned. Why?

It started off out as a way to assist exotic animals. Now, this Houston animal lover’s rescue is overflowing with lizards and virtually at its breaking level.

Houston Underground Animals will not likely consider any venomous animals, cats or puppies. Other than that, mountain lions, monkeys, peacocks and additional can find a residence at Nic Louie’s independently funded rescue and pet retail outlet. But in the earlier six months, an monumental total of surrendered animals have arrived and he is battling to continue to keep his rescue going.

“I arrived into this pondering I could just be an animal lover and aid animals,” Louie explained. “But it is really no key, factors expense revenue.”

When Louie started rescuing unique animals in 2020, Houston Underground Animals would acquire 3 to 5 animals per thirty day period. For the past 3 months,  the selection has risen to 35 to 40 exotic animals for every thirty day period, and the rescue is turning out to be overwhelmed.

Four of Houston Underground's bearded dragons. 

Four of Houston Underground’s bearded dragons. 

presented by Nic Louie

They are typically getting bearded dragons, leopard geckos and guinea pigs, but they have also been given peacocks, cavies, monkeys and mountain lions.

The rescue is effective with a number of persons who personal massive attributes outside the house of the city, where Louie will take a great deal of the animals that want additional space. He handles the more compact animals at his area in northwest Houston.

Louie isn’t going to turn absent any animals and has a no-inquiries-asked coverage for persons who want to surrender their animals.

“A good deal of situations the animals are coming from lousy cases, and so people today will not want to give them up if you’re inquiring also several queries due to the fact they experience like they’re heading to get in difficulties,” Louie explained.

Louie mentioned he is doing this out of his really like for animals. He opened Houston Underground Animals in the course of the start out of the COVID-19 pandemic and explained he was paying out any place from $6,000-$10,000 a thirty day period out of his own pocket to take treatment of all the animals. When it to start with opened it was just a rescue, but he immediately resolved to transform it into a pet keep to bring in more income.

“There are more than a million stray puppies and around a quarter million stray cats just working close to Houston,” Louie said. “If there are figures like that in cats and puppies, you can picture the figures of other animals that are also in difficulties.”

Louie said he has fielded phone calls to retrieve peacocks off of the freeway, get mountain lions out of swimming pools, and can even wrangle crocodiles. 

“If I can’t personally house the animal, I have some people that I get the job done with regionally that have land and I’ll take them up there until finally we uncover them a new house.”

Louie stated he will not know how numerous animals he has. He is so overcome, he are not able to continue to keep up with the figures. 

There are only a handful of other places to surrender an unique pet in the Houston region. Texas Reptile and Modest Animal Rescue in Conroe takes in animals and allows adoptions, but in accordance to a article on the nonprofit’s Fb website page, they have also struggled with the variety of exotic animal surrenders in the previous.

According to Texas legislation, permits are expected from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Section for a human being to possess particular protected wildlife species. 

Escaped unique animals are not new to the streets of Houston. Tigers were caught on the loose in both 2019 and 2021. There have also been experiences of lacking monkeys and wallabies. This can pose a problem not only for the security of the animal but for the indigenous environment.

Louie stated that reptiles that are regarded exotic turned well-liked to have all through the COVID-19 pandemic. Pet suppliers all around the country reported a spike in reptile sales throughout that time. Now, Louie explained, the increase is over.

“I would have never guessed this would transpire going into this,” Louie reported. “I imagined I was just going to established up shop and commence assisting all the little fellas.”

Louie mentioned he’s now in a tough condition. If he can’t go some of the animals he’s gained, he is just heading to have to continue to keep them.

“What is actually truly enjoyment is that most reptiles live 30 to 60 yrs, so most of these animals I’m heading to be having care of into my seventies and eighties,” Louie explained.