So maybe a furry friend is not your thing!
Then you will be happy to know that there are options – like reptile rescues where you can find a friend – without fur!
If I say pet, I know you are thinking of soft, fuzzy critters – but snakes and lizards can be great pets too.
They definitely do not get the level of attention they deserve.
From geckos to turtles to chameleons and more, there are many different kinds of reptiles, all with a wide variety of needs.
UV lighting, heat lamps, special housing, and sanitation are all critical factors to consider when taking care of a reptile.
This makes a reptile a pet that is not for everyone.
The cost and time to care for a reptile can often be more than many expect.
As an example, chameleons as pets are very desirable because of their cool colors.
But they have very specific housing and food needs that can cost more than people think.
This is where reptile rescues come in.
Many people will buy a reptile and realize it is way too much work and expense.
So, they will relinquish it to a rescue that specializes in reptiles.
You will often find reptiles on some of the best pet adoption websites like Adopt-A-Pet or Petfinder!
Like any other rescues, reptile rescues take in reptiles that needs their help, and care for them until they are adopted out.
These rescues also cater to reptiles’ specific needs, like heat lamps and food, and help to educate the public about reptiles as a whole.
Reptile Rescues Profiles
Here is a list of some reptile rescues that really look out for out scaly friends so you can get an idea of how hard these rescues work!
We could not profile every single rescue – but these few will give you an idea of the type of work all rescues do.
Forgotten Friend Reptile Sanctuary – Pennsylvania
Forgotten Friend Reptile Sanctuary is one of my favorite reptile rescues.
Their mission is to “give reptiles a chance, by rescuing reptiles that need our help, and by providing fun outreach programs to spread our love of reptiles”.
The sanctuary has done over 2,000 shows in schools, libraries, churches, TV and more to help educate how awesome reptiles are.
The “outreach” side of their website is chock-full of information about the study of reptiles (herpetology), and how to get involved with local herpetological groups if you are in the Pennsylvania area.
Want to help them? You can head over to their website and donate.
Want to read some happy stories? Head to their website and read stories of the reptiles they have helped over the years.
Friends of Scales Reptile Rescue – Illinois
Friends of Scales Reptile Rescue is “dedicated to the care of the ill, injured, abandoned, and the aggressive/dangerous”.
As an insured reptile rescue, Friends of Scales is totally able and willing to take on a role in the promotion of responsible reptile ownership.
They also promote reptile conservation efforts and help inspire the public to help protect the animals they love.
Volunteering is critical for Friends of Scales, and we cannot stress enough the importance of volunteering in the first place.
If you are interested in volunteering, you can find more information on the website.
Even if you can’t volunteer with Friends of Scales, please keep in mind all the other rescues on this list.
Animal rescue takes a lot of work, and without volunteers, it’s hard to keep up!
Aside from volunteers, Friends of Scales also accepts surrendered reptiles from owners who can’t take care of their pets anymore.
In the event that they are over capacity, or simply cannot accept a surrender at this time, Friends of Scales is also willing to connect surrendered pets with people willing and able to take them in.
Colorado Reptile Humane Society – Colorado
Like all the rescues on this list, the Colorado Reptile Humane Society (CoRHS) focuses on education, conservation, and adoption.
One thing thing that makes this organization different is that they offer the opportunity to sponsor and foster reptiles.
It is a great way to to help the community learn more about reptiles and their unique needs.
CoRHS aids in two important conservation efforts in the state of Colorado – wildlife rehabilitation, and the Colorado Box Turtle Project, which studies the effects of human activity on the native Colorado Box Turtle population.
The information they receive from the study will help understand how population affects the turtles and to help prevent extinction.
You can read more about their projects here.
Want to get involved? CoRHS offers volunteer and internship opportunities with the Colorado Box Turtle Project.
If you are interested in helping the Colorado Reptile Humane Society, please visit their website here.
American Tortoise Rescue – California
The American Tortoise Rescue (ATR) works around the world to help turtles and tortoises.
Over 4,000 have been re-homed since they started in 1990.
They also sponsor World Turtle Day, an annual celebration on May 23rd that aims to bring attention to the plight of turtles and tortoises, as well as educate people about turtles and tortoises, and encourage action to help these beautiful animals thrive.
Even so, ATR no longer provides rehoming or assistance with adoptions, except in rare cases or for special needs turtles.
Now, much of their time “is spent with a dedicated commitment to education, legal issues facing turtles and tortoises and expanding World Turtle Day® activities on May 23rd annually”.
Instead, they have a wealth of information regarding reptile rescues throughout the United States, Canada, the U.K., and elsewhere.
Run solely by volunteers, ATR relies heavily on donations.
Their focus on education, activism, and information for turtle owners is, all and all, fantastic.
Be sure to donate if you’re willing, to make sure ATR is around to help for years to come.
Reptile Rescue List
The few listed above are just a small handful of the many reptile rescues out there.
Below is a comprehensive list by state of all the reptile rescues we could find.
We will add to this list as new rescues come our way – if you have suggestions, we are all ears!
Most of these reptile rescues are small organizations with limited funding and resources.
Love reptiles? Please be sure to support a reptile rescue near you by volunteering, donating or sharing on social media!
Reptile Rescues By State
Deciding To Adopt A Reptile
Please, do your homework before you adopt a reptile!
If you need any more information before you try to find a scaly friend, check out ReptiFiles.
ReptiFiles is full of comprehensive care guides for a variety of reptiles, from leopard geckos to corn snakes, to blue-tongued skinks.
Mariah Healey, author of the website, also keeps all her information as up-to-date and accurate as possible.
Beyond that, ReptiFiles has pages of resources for all your reptile needs – so, if you are serious about getting a reptile, be sure to check them out for anything you might need when caring for your new best friend.
Make sure you do a search – talk to experts and really do your due diligence to ensure that having a reptile as a pet is the perfect option for your whole family!
Know of a reptile rescue not listed here? Please tell us about them in the comments below!
11 thoughts on “Reptile Rescues Across The States”
The Lizard Lighthouse is a brand new rescue out of central Nebraska. We’re working on our 501(c)(3)! I am one of the four co-founders.
My name is Allison Scott, Adoption Coordinator for the Georgia Reptile Society Adoptions and Rescue. We would love to add our licensed 501c3 rescue to your lists. I can provide documentation as well 🙂
Thanks for letting us know Allison! We have added your organization – and thank you for doing what you do! Jill
A Pet’s Tale – Reptile / Small Animal / Bird / Exotics Rescue and Rehab in Chester Va, I am the owner/operator
Hi Kristin, this looks like a store? Are you a registered 501(c)(3)?
DragonTails Rescue in Chubbuck Idaho
I am the owner and operator.
Thanks Diane! We have added you to the list!
BeWild Reptile Rescue, Fresh Start Rescue, and Annwn Animal Sanctuary are the three 501(c)(3) reptile rescues in NC. The others are either not 501(c)(3), no longer open, or do not take in/adopt out animals.
Thank you so much AJ! We have made the updates, and appreciate your time in helping us keep this updated! Jill
Beloved Beardies Reptile Rescue in South Carolina
Thank you Dani! They have been added. Jill