A couple weeks ago, Little Grump and I received an email from the SPCA of Texas via the volunteer coordinator at the local animal shelter. It seems that the SPCA of Texas needed volunteers to help care for a very large collection of animals that is currently in their care.
Little Grump and I talked about it for something like two minutes and then said, “Oh yeah! You can count on us!” So we signed up to go to the facility on Sunday mornings to work a four hour shift.
Unlike the local shelter, this facility is about a half hour away. So we woke up early and left our house at about 7:15. (We had to allow for a quick zoom through the Starbucks drivethrough!)
When we got there, the attendant asked if we were afraid of any particular animals. He said some people hated insects and arachnids. I knew that we didn’t. (Neither one of us squash spiders or crickets. No… We carefully pick them up and set them outside.) He asked about snakes or slimy things. Nope… not that either. (Little Bear has been the resident gecko rangler since we moved to Texas. Those little guys are quick, but Little Grump is quicker!) Since we didn’t seem to be afraid of anything, he put us to work with the reptiles.
Now, we’ve handled some reptiles before, but we’ve never seen such an array as we did today… Lizards, water dragons, turtles in all shapes and sizes, and more. We even saw a large slug, which had just had babies. (Did you know slugs were asexual? I didn’t!)
Our first job was to go through and change water, feed animals, and “check for deads.” We had to go through the reptiles and find any ones that might have perished.
In one cage, I was sure I found one that was dead. It’s legs were all splayed out and it looked flatter than a pancake. It wasn’t until Little Grump reached for it and it took off like a shot that we realized that… whoops! It was still alive.
Which is just proof of the what we learned today… It’s not always easy to see if a reptile is alive or just comfy!
We also found a toad that chirped like a cricket instead of croaked. We saw that turtles actually use their claws to arrange their food while they eat. And we saw a long tailed lizard that looked like a tiny snake with four feet.
It was a very cool experience, and we plan on going back next week. Little Grump hopes to be able to help with the small mammals next week because she wants to learn about more animals. (Besides, she though she saw a lemur!)
I’d be happy with the reptiles and amphibians again. They’re actually rather cute and calming!