Mission’s Mike Hopcraft, also known as the Reptile Guy, is being charged with two counts of animal cruelty and one count of violating the Veterinarians Act. / File Photo

Crown approves animal cruelty charges against Mission’s ‘Reptile Guy’

SPCA claims man performed veterinary procedure on a blood python without sedation or pain medication

Mission’s Reptile Guy is being accused of animal cruelty.

Crown counsel has approved two counts of animal cruelty charges against Michael Hopcraft, also known as the The Reptile Guy, following a BC SPCA investigation.

According to a press release issued by the BC SPCA, Hopcraft was also charged with one count of violating the Veterinarians Act.

The SPCA says the investigation began after a video emerged showing Hopcraft performing a veterinary procedure on a friend’s blood python without the use of sedation or pain medication.

“Clearly, it is not appropriate for any individual without a veterinary licence to be performing such procedures,” said Marcie Moriarty, chief prevention and enforcement officer for the BC SPCA.

“In this case, the manner in which the procedure was carried out could have resulted in the death of the animal. It is also concerning that the operation was done without the necessary pain control, which would have caused suffering and distress for the snake.”

Moriarty noted that the BC SPCA has responded to complaints on previous occasions regarding animals in Hopcraft’s care.

In 2015, SPCA constables seized dozens of reptiles that they say were in distress from a rescue facility operated by Hopcraft.

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