Reptile Adoption Day & Adopted a Special Needs Corn Snake

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Reptile Adoption Day & Adopted a Special Needs Corn Snake

Post by wodesorel » Thu Feb 12, 2015 7:49 am

I'm sharing this here because I'm a little tired of the "kill it at birth" comments at the snake forum. :roll: I know where it's coming from and I do understand that reaction, but she's a sweetheart and it hurts when they say it!

I started following Herps Alive - which is a reptile rescue and education service out of Cleveland, Ohio - on Facebook a few months ago. They posted a somewhat fuzzy picture of a small corn snake named Lumpy that they said had a spinal deformity right before Thanksgiving.
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We've been wanting a second snake for a while now, so I asked if they were planning to adopt her out. They wanted to keep her through a few meals to make sure there were no issues, and around mid-December I heard back that she was available and our application to adopt was approved 15 minutes after I emailed it! We were trying to figure out when we could drive the two hours to pick her up.

In the meantime, the founder and I started talking about his rescue, and I started talking to my husband who works for Angels for Animals animal shelter in Canfield, OH. Hubby talked about the group at work and everyone was really interested in having them down. So, I arranged an adoption day at the shelter for them! Much to my happiness he held Lumpy for another month until the event and brought her with them.

The adoption day was a huge success, and both parties want to do another one in July. :) They were accepting surrenders and they took in as many reptiles as they adopted out, but we had hundreds of people wander through and all three local news channels showed up and ran a small feature that night. The goal was to spread awareness as well as adopt. The local pet store Pure Pet also came with a table full of supplies and had told a bunch of their customers about the event.

News Coverage: http://wkbn.com/2015/01/24/all-things-s ... -canfield/

(Incidentally, if I can find people to help since I'll be manning the front door, we can have an HCA table at the next one! :D )

They brought tortoises! Who at one point started working in unison and managed to drag the pen a few feet before anyone noticed. :lol:
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At the start:
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They also had ambassador animals that were friendly and could be handled freely by the public. I think that's a volunteer. The photos are public on the shelter's page.
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(By the way, that's me in the very back setting up the front of Pure Pet's table. I thought I managed to keep out of all the pictures!)



So, back to my little Lumpy. :hearts:

We weren't really sure what we were looking at as far as her deformity. By all luck, a few days after bringing her home a snake from Australia hit the news, and the mystery of Lumpy's lumps was solved. It's Charcot's Disease, which is causing her spine to fuse together as she ages. I spoke with Reptile Rescue Tasmania who is keeping that snake, and they said that supplementing B12 in her food may help slow things. They also gave me advice about housing and life expectancy. They had only heard from one other owner who had a snake like this, and that one lived a happy 12 years before having to be put to sleep. Because Lumpy is so severely lumped at three years old, it's likely she may only have a few more years before too much of her back fuses.

Rocky, the lumpy Tiger Snake:
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-02-02/2 ... l-/6061952
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... -back.html

Surprisingly enough, our little Lumpy was a classroom pet before she was surrendered. She's incredibly comfortable with being handled, although I'm staying as hands off as possible so as not to hurt her.

She had a bit of a bad molt, which was my fault. My back locked up last week and I haven't been able to do much. I let her moist hide dry out and honestly I never expected her to shed this fast!

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She eats better then my King Snake, and she seems interested in her surroundings even though she has a lot of trouble getting around. I have high hopes she'll be okay, but it's hard to tell pain in snakes and I'm honestly not sure who to listen to. The rescue swears she's okay and I'm going with that for now, but ultimately it'll be up to us to decide when it'll be time to euthanize her. She's not going to have a normal life span, and the goal is to keep her happy and comfortable until then. :)

There's a video here that shows how she moves. I know how stubborn she is so I don't see it as being sad, but she has a lot of difficulties getting where she wants to go. She kept attacking the glass because she was hungry and the drawstrings on my pants kept moving: http://youtu.be/zTuj9WTwYXI
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Re: Reptile Adoption Day & Adopted a Special Needs Corn Snak

Post by CallaLily » Thu Feb 12, 2015 8:13 am

Oh my goodness, what a tough gal! It's awesome of you to take her in and give her a great life, however long that may be. :D

Great job with the adoption day too!

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Re: Reptile Adoption Day & Adopted a Special Needs Corn Snak

Post by megmaholm » Thu Feb 12, 2015 12:39 pm

Poor girl!! I have a soft spot for special needs animals. That's awesome you took her in, and it sounds like she's doing okay despite her deformity. Are you keeping the name Lumpy?

Awesome about the adoption day! I wish we had stuff like that locally.
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Re: Reptile Adoption Day & Adopted a Special Needs Corn Snak

Post by kuza » Thu Feb 12, 2015 1:15 pm

wow that's really cool! I feel so bad for lumpy, I have a soft spot for snakes :(

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Re: Reptile Adoption Day & Adopted a Special Needs Corn Snak

Post by Crabinski » Thu Feb 12, 2015 2:18 pm

What great stories! Congrats on getting that adoption event set up -- so gratifying that there was such a large turnout and so many adoptions, too.

Lumpy is beautiful and moves quite well in the video, despite her unique condition. How long is she? I know that adult corn snakes are typically 3-5' in length and assume she'd be considerably shorter due to her disease.

I have always loved all types of reptiles and amphibians (had turtles and a chameleon way back when I was a little kid and African Dwarf frogs just a few years ago) and spend way too much time at the reptile tanks in PetSmart and Petco admiring and talking to the critters. Like @kuza, I have a "soft spot" for snakes but, as an owner of fancy mice, can never see myself having one of my own :( .

Thanks for this wonderful post and us updated on Lumpy.
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Re: Reptile Adoption Day & Adopted a Special Needs Corn Snak

Post by wodesorel » Thu Feb 12, 2015 2:48 pm

megmaholm wrote:Awesome about the adoption day! I wish we had stuff like that locally.
I said the same thing until I realized nothing was going to change until someone made the first move. It never hurts to ask around and see if there's interest. :)
Crabinski wrote: How long is she? I know that adult corn snakes are typically 3-5' in length and assume she'd be considerably shorter due to her disease.

I have always loved all types of reptiles and amphibians (had turtles and a chameleon way back when I was a little kid and African Dwarf frogs just a few years ago) and spend way too much time at the reptile tanks in PetSmart and Petco admiring and talking to the critters. Like @kuza, I have a "soft spot" for snakes but, as an owner of fancy mice, can never see myself having one of my own :( .
She's not much over two feet, and at three years old I think that's about half the length she should be. She's also incredibly lightweight. I'd like to get a weight on her soon, although I'm still trying to figure out how to be absolutely sure that being a bowl won't hurt her.

We used to always have hamsters and gerbils until my allergies got too severe. I never thought I could do a snake either and it was my friend who owns the local pet store that was gracious enough to let me watch our King eat at the store before I agreed to take him. I whimpered the first few times at home. I'm okay now with adult mice and rats, but anything that looks like a baby still makes me cry too much. I've actually switched the King to a day-old chick diet instead of small rats. It's still disturbing, but instead of being killed specifically for reptile food, they're a byproduct of the human food industry - male chicks are killed in huge numbers (sometimes in stomach turning ways) since so many females are needed for egg laying. I don't feel guilty putting a purpose to a life that would otherwise be wasted, and they have to put them down humanely in order for it to be snake safe. With the mice I feel bad doing it, even though I know Lumpy has to eat. I actually worry a lot about the conditions behind their food since it's not something that is much discussed in herping circles. I want their dinner to have had as humane a life as possible, but I could never raise them myself.

Incidentally, as an alternative, there are a few species of very tiny snakes that eat only worms and insects. The downside is that almost all are wild caught.
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Re: Reptile Adoption Day & Adopted a Special Needs Corn Snak

Post by Breeezy » Thu Feb 12, 2015 4:15 pm

I'm so glad she was able to find a great home with you Wode! She looks healthy (no snake expert by any means) other than her deformity! Beautiful colors! :D
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Re: Reptile Adoption Day & Adopted a Special Needs Corn Snak

Post by aussieJJDude » Fri Feb 13, 2015 4:28 am

Oh no! I sorry to hear that both you and your snake is suffering back problems! (Pet like owner though when I first read it... Couldn't help it!) i hope this get better.

But on the positive note, I really think Lumpy is quite adorable! :love::
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Re: Reptile Adoption Day & Adopted a Special Needs Corn Snak

Post by wodesorel » Tue Mar 03, 2015 2:42 am

Well, she had snake mites - which I did not notice for weeks. There were HUNDREDS when I finally caught them and started treatment. It'll be about two months before I can be sure they're completely gone, but so far it's going great and there was only one in her water dish (they drown in water) today. I think that the snake mites were causing a lot of her issues with movement. I'm sure she was anemic. I also learned she likes it hot! I thought she'd be okay with the same temps as my Florida King (Apalachicola mix, so he's semi-tropical), but she wants even warmer.

Now she's out and cruising around her tank regularly. Actually, she won't stop moving. :) She always has to see what I'm doing, as well! I'm no longer worried about her, since she's acting and moving so much like a normal healthy snake.

I'm calling her Peach, since she's such a peach to work with. :D Also... her color.

Some more pics!
She's on towels until I can be sure the mites are gone. Paper towels weren't working for her since she does have some issues with normal movement and would drag them and her hides around with her. The towels are working much better, and she hides between the layers.

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Re: Reptile Adoption Day & Adopted a Special Needs Corn Snak

Post by YYWW » Tue Mar 03, 2015 7:31 am

Poor lil Peach! But now that you're onto her she can get fat and happy! She actually looks real comfy in a towel.
I love snake faces. Their snouts and pouty lips are so cute! And i love her eyes!


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Re: Reptile Adoption Day & Adopted a Special Needs Corn Snak

Post by MuseCrazy » Tue Mar 03, 2015 2:02 pm

She is so precious. I'm glad you got her! This is a great learning experience for a lot of people.

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Re: Reptile Adoption Day & Adopted a Special Needs Corn Snak

Post by wodesorel » Wed Apr 29, 2015 1:39 am

I'm not sure if the mites are completely gone, but she's gone long enough without a real tank! So, this is her new digs. Depending on how she does, I'll add more to it. :) She seems to be able to handle the platform okay, and I filled the base with moist moss since she has trouble with doorways.

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I had let my other snake Stan out of his cage to roam a bit. This was the first time Peach had seen him.
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She met one of the cats for the first time tonight. I'm not sure if Fran had seen the snakes before either! I don't normally let the cats in the critter room.
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Re: Reptile Adoption Day & Adopted a Special Needs Corn Snak

Post by kuza » Sun Jun 14, 2015 10:23 pm

She looks pretty happy!

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Re: Reptile Adoption Day & Adopted a Special Needs Corn Snak

Post by wodesorel » Tue Jun 16, 2015 3:01 am

She's doing really good. Has bad molts every time, but she's incredibly patient and lets me soak her and pick her clean. No fear at all and not head shy in the least. :)
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Re: Reptile Adoption Day & Adopted a Special Needs Corn Snak

Post by kuza » Fri Jun 19, 2015 3:11 pm

She's pretty lucky to have you, I can't imagine her with just a normal family.

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