Reptile Guy frustrated as SPCA confiscates animals

Rescue operator says this is fourth warrant executed since July

  • Dec. 3, 2015 5:00 a.m.

Mike Hopcroft with a resident of his his Reptile Guy rescue.

It’s the fourth time the SPCA has raided a popular Mission reptile rehabilitation clinic and owner Mike Hopcroft isn’t sure how to make the animal welfare organization happy.

He says they’ve executed four warrants since he opened his new Reptile Guy rescue centre location in July. This time, they took 14 reptiles and 44 rats, out of over 100 rats and 300 reptiles housed in the Mission location on 1st Avenue.

“They came in about 10:30 [Wednesday] morning with a warrant,” said Hopcroft. “They started taking animals, and I asked why…they said because they were in critical distress.”

Hopcroft says many of the Reptile Guy’s creatures appear to be in poor condition because they were brought in that way, and he and his staff are trying to nurse them back to health.

“One of the animals they said was in ‘critical distress’ was a chameleon we’ve been rehabilitating for three months now,” he explained, saying the animal was brought in with a life-threatening Vitamin A deficiency but has been steadily gaining vitality.

The Reptile Guy allows visitors to tour the centre for a fee, and they also provide birthday parties and educational presentations. Before moving to Mission this summer, he operated the centre in Abbotsford.

The BC SPCA spokesperson has not yet responded to a request for comment, but the agency has given a general release to media saying they do not execute warrants without evidence that animals are in distress.

The reptiles taken include four iguanas, two corn snakes, leopard geckos, bearded dragons, a water dragon and a boa constrictor.

Hopcroft believes the SPCA’s repeated searches are holding his centre to “an unattainable standard.” They’ve asked him to ensure all the animals animals have food, water, clean habitats and adequate lighting – all requests he said he has followed.

“It’s just really frustrating to me, because it’s a rescue. They expect every animal to be in 100 per cent great condition, or else it’s our fault and we’re neglecting them.”

Hopcroft has 14 days to appeal and request the animals returned, which he plans to do. As he’s been doing reptile rescue work for 15 years, he doesn’t intend to stop now.

“I’m trying to regroup and de-stress … I’m still a little numb from the whole thing,” he said.

 

Just Posted

Woman charged with attempted murder after Mission assault

Victim in hospital in stable condition after Maple Ridge woman allegedly attacks him

Police investigate apparent impaired-driving crash

Incident took place in Abbotsford on Thursday night

If it snows, move your car

Streets in Mission that have cars parked on them, won’t get plowed this winter

Three days in the ER, not uncommon in Abbotsford: report

One in 10 admitted patients spends more than 69 hours in emergency

#MeToo at work: How reporting sexual harassment works – and how it doesn’t

British Columbians have four options to report harassment or assault, but none of them are easy

VIDEO: Average Canadian food bill to rise by $348 in 2018

Atlantic Canada and B.C. will see the most increases for consumers

Court denies WestJet’s bid to toss out discrimination lawsuit of former worker

Mandalena Lewis is suing WestJet over allegations of gender-based discrimination

VIDEO: 3 months later, rescued sea lion released back into ocean

The young animal was found in Campbell River three months ago

Sagmoen neighbours recall alleged hammer attack

Woman was screaming outside Maple Ridge townhouse in 2013

UPDATED: Train collides with car in Maple Ridge

Mother and child both uninjured, track cleared at 11 a.m.

Accused B.C. drug smuggler to be extradited

Supreme Court of Canada upholds extradition order for accused Shuswap drug smuggler, Colin Martin

One convicted, two cleared in 2014 deaths of men in B.C.’s Cariboo

Andrew Jongbloets convicted of manslaughter in deaths of Matthew Hennigar, 23 and Kalvin Andy, 22

VIDEO: Pedestrian struck by vehicle caught on security camera

Incident points to danger on the roads not only in low light but also in bright sunshine

AHUS patient Shantee Anaquod is home for Christmas

Less than a month after receiving first dose of $750K drug, 23 year old healthy enough to go home

Most Read