Mike Hopcraft isn't giving up. After announcing that his reptile centre was going to close on Nov. 19

Mike Hopcraft isn't giving up. After announcing that his reptile centre was going to close on Nov. 19

Mission’s Reptile Guy hoping to raise enough funds to keep facility open

Owner Mike Hopcraft says centre will close on Nov. 19 unless enough money can be raised.

The Reptile Guy’s Rescue and Education Centre may still remain open.

Five days after owner Mike Hopcraft announced on Facebook that the facility will close on Nov. 19, he created a new post hoping to raise enough funds to keep it open.

In his Nov. 10 post, Hopcraft wrote “We don’t want to let this place go as we have had four people needing us to take in their animals since we made our post about closing.”

He went on to say “Together, we can save our rescue and keep a safe place for unwanted reptiles and other small exotic animals.”

He is asking people to make donations in the hope that he can raise the $25,000 he needs to keep the facility running.

“If even half of the people who have liked our page donated just $10 we can make this happen.

“Donations can be made via Paypal or email transfer to mike@reptileguy.ca, in person at our facility or you can call in with a credit card,” he wrote.

On Nov. 5, Hopcraft posted a less hopeful message which announced the pending closure of the centre.

“As many of you know, 11 months ago our rescue was the subject of an unfortunate series of allegations by the BCSPCA followed by an endless attack from an animal rights group. As of today, the allegations have gone nowhere and there has never been a follow up inspection,” he wrote.

Hopcraft went on to write that the allegations made by the BCSPCA – and the national media coverage that came with it – severely damaged the centre’s name. As a result, the centre has “suffered a steady decrease in bookings” for the  education program, which he said is the “sole means of funding for our rescue.”

He wrote that the centre has now fallen behind with almost all of its bills, including rent, and the only way to continue operating would be to raise  $25,000 in the next few weeks, which he called “not feasible.”

With the decision made to close the centre, Hopcraft indicated that he and his staff are concerned about the animals’ welfare.

“It scares us to know that there will not be a place that can take in the volume of unwanted, abandoned or injured reptiles, amphibians, arachnids and other small exotic animals that we have been able to do for so many years.”

As for the animals currently housed at the  rescue, Hopcraft wrote that they will be starting to find homes in the next few weeks, but it will take time.

“We ask that you please not ask for animals until we begin making posts about adoptions.”

In July of 2015, Hopcraft relocated his Abbotsford-based rescue centre to downtown Mission. By December of that year, the SPCA had executed four warrants on the property and confiscated several animals.

Charges were originally recommended in January 2016 under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. Court documents – the search warrant and information to obtain a search warrant – were made public by an animal activist group and state that the SPCA received a complaint from an ex-employee at the reptile centre, including photographs of animals in distress.

Allegations included animals enclosed in unsanitary conditions, dead animals, underweight animals, animals without water, a fungal infection, overcrowding and animals in critical distress.

The SPCA wouldn’t comment on the case in particular, but did confirm that despite the fact almost 11 months have passed, no charges have been filed yet.

Just Posted

Brandon Hobbs (turquoise shirt), brother of missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs, gathers with other family and friends to distribute posters in Chilliwack on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Search efforts expand to Chilliwack and beyond for missing Abbotsford man

Family, friends put up posters in Chilliwack, Agassiz, Hope for missing 22-year-old Adam Hobbs

poster
Drop-in Covid vaccine clinic in Mission June 17-18

Neighbourhood clinics complement appointment-based clinics currently operating in Mission

Stock photo by LEEROY Agency from Pixabay
Drop-in vaccination clinics slated in Abbotsford for construction workers

Among three sites in Lower Mainland holding no-appointment clinics in June and July

A CH-149 Cormorant from 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron out of CFB Comox on a training exercise in Chilliwack on June 16, 2021. (William Snow photo)
VIDEO: Military search and rescue training in Chilliwack Wednesday

CH-149 Cormorant and CC-115 Buffalo from CFB Comox participated in downed aircraft rescue simulation

(Black Press Media files)
Get ready for mosquito season

Fraser Valley Regionsl District has already taken measures to curb the number of mosquitos

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

BC Green Party leader and Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau introduced a petition to the provincial legislature on Thursday calling for the end of old-growth logging in the province. (File photo)
BC Green leader Furstenau introduces old-growth logging petition

Party calls for the end of old-growth logging as protests in Fairy Creek continue

B.C. Premier John Horgan leaves his office for a news conference in the legislature rose garden, June 3, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. premier roasted for office budget, taxing COVID-19 benefits

Youth addiction law that triggered election hasn’t appeared

Most Read