12 Best Reptile Rescues in The USA! (2024)

Reptiles are fun, unique pets to own and are an excellent option for people with pet allergies. Owning an exotic animal may seem like an exciting challenge, but unfortunately, many people do not realize the extent of care they require. 

Countless reptiles and other exotic animals are abandoned every day. Some are released into the wild, others are surrendered to rescue centers, and some are thrown away.

These reptile rescues will provide medical care and housing for reptiles, and once they are healthy again, put them up for adoption in hopes they find a loving home. 

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Why Are Reptiles Surrendered? 


As previously stated, many wanna-be reptile owners do not always realize the amount of care needed for a reptile to thrive.

All too often, someone will walk into a pet store and see a baby lizard, think it is cute, and bring it home. Parents will gift them to their children, underestimating the responsibility they are placing on their shoulders. 

While all reptiles have different care requirements, they are more work than, say, a dog or a cat. They need particular humidity and temperature requirements, properly sized housing, and a somewhat expensive diet.

Insectivores that require live insects for food need those insects also to be adequately fed and housed and often powdered with calcium. 

Larger reptiles quickly outgrow the tiny terrariums sold in pet stores and can grow irritable or aggressive if not given proper care and handling.

Lack of care can also result in illness and disease, which is another reason reptiles are often surrendered to rescues. Often, owners are unwilling to cover veterinary care expenses for a sick reptile.

12 Best Reptile Rescues in The USA


Adopting a reptile from a reptile rescue can sometimes be more complex than purchasing one from a pet store because the organizations need to ensure they are placing the reptile into a kind, loving home and not putting them in danger.

You may need to fill out paperwork, pass a background check, and even be open to a home visit.

Whether you are looking to surrender or adopt a reptile or perhaps support your local organization, there are countless reptile rescue centers across the US.

It may be a bit of a drive to the nearest sanctuary in some areas, but it is worth it. This article has compiled a list of reputable reptile rescues across the USA. 

1. Mr. Drew & His Animals Too


Drew Desjardins has worked in pet care for over 30 years and has a particular love for reptiles and exotic pets.

His education center, located in Lewiston, ME, is home to over 100 rescued and rehabilitated exotic animals. Mr. Drew does not buy or sell animals, and adopting one from him is an extensive process. 

Drew owns a pet supply store that sells food, housing, and live feeders for many animals. His store, along with admissions for his education center, helps fund his rescue program.

Drew focuses on spreading knowledge and awareness regarding reptiles and their care, and he does so by visiting local schools, daycares, reptile exhibits, and anywhere else where he can share his years of experience. 

Mr. Drew & His Animals Too Details:

2. New England Herpetological Society


Founded in 1972, NEHS is run by a group that is passionate about reptiles and amphibians. They strive to educate the community, and they work with many businesses and non-profits to encourage reptile adoption.

They host monthly meetings that are open to the public, during which time pet parents can come to drop off pets or inquire about adoption. 

NEHS memberships are available and include field trips, access to their library, and discounted supplies and food for your reptiles or amphibians. 

New England Herpetological Society Details:

3. Hudson Valley Reptile & Rescue


Founded by Brian Parkhurst and co-founder Severo Canzian in 2004, HVR&R is led by knowledgeable long-time reptile owners who strive to pass on their expertise.

They rescue, rehabilitate, and rehome reptiles of all kinds and host events to provide reptile education to their community. 

If they are unable to take in any more reptiles, they have an online page where pet owners can post pictures of their pet up for adoption, and HVR&R will assist in the rehoming process.

While they require an adoption fee, they occasionally allow a “set your own fee” to help these reptiles find their forever homes. 

Hudson Valley Reptile & Rescue Details:

4. Be Wild Reptile Rescue


Be Wild Reptile Rescue has taken in over 400 animals since its founding in 2018. They work closely with a local group of vets to provide medical attention to reptiles they find displaced or abandoned.

They take pride in having full transparency, offering excellent medical care, and providing education to their local community regarding reptiles and their care. 

Be Wild Reptile Rescue can accept almost any type of reptile, amphibian, or invertebrate. There are, however, a few exceptions due to state guidelines and space restrictions.

In addition to rescuing these exotic animals, they also provide educational programs at a low cost which helps fund their sanctuary. 

Be Wild Reptile Rescue Details:

5. Saving Scales Reptile Rescue


Founded by Kate and Jeff Turner in 2014, Saving Scales Reptile Rescue became an official non-profit organization in 2022.

The Turners primarily focus on finding a rescuing reptile and tending to its particular needs. Through fundraising, they hope to expand their reptile house soon and add more volunteers as their sanctuary grows. 

Saving Scales works with local law enforcement, vets, and pet owners to ensure a smooth transition for rehomed reptiles. For those looking to adopt a reptile, an application must be submitted.

Then, the Turners will discuss your experience and education regarding the reptile. They will also require proof of appropriate habitat for the animal. 

Saving Scales Reptile Rescue Details:

6. Reptile Rescue Center


A non-profit organization founded in 2009, RRC accepts rescues from all over the US. Their mission is to rehabilitate these unwanted or neglected animals and find them new forever homes.

Their facility is top of the line, with indoor and outdoor enclosures depending on the season. 

Newly surrendered adoptable reptiles are kept in a separate quarantine building for 3-6 months, depending on the situation.

When they’re ready, adoption becomes an option. To adopt reptiles from RRC, you must submit an application. If they accept your application, you will interview and test your animal knowledge.

Finally, the facility will conduct a home inspection before the reptile is sent to its new home.

By adopting reptiles from RRC, the new pet owner agrees that if circumstances change, they will return the animal. Additionally, these animals cannot be bred, sold, traded, or released. 

Reptile Rescue Center Details:

7. Santucci Small Animal And Reptile Rescue


The Santucci Small Animal And Reptile Rescue is a small animal rescue organization that takes in animals of all sorts, including reptiles.

Owners can call or text to surrender their animals, and the owners at Santucci will keep in touch and let them know how they are doing. 

Any animals that cannot be adopted out participate in educational purposes to help spread awareness and knowledge about proper animal care.

The owners at Santucci rescue animals from all over the state of Florida, often helping out other rescues and organizations with overflow. 

Santucci Small Animal And Reptile Rescue Details:

8. Reptile Rescue & Relocation


A non-profit organization that runs solely off of volunteer work and donations, Reptile Rescue & Relocation is dedicated to saving reptiles that intimidate people and would likely otherwise be killed.

Whether they relocate the reptile to the wild or adopt it to a new loving home, RR&R ensures they live long and happy lives. 

RR&R realizes that people often fear snakes, lizards, and other reptiles due to a lack of education. To help improve this issue, they often spread awareness by visiting schools, conferences, and other venues where they can share their knowledge. 

Reptile Rescue & Relocation Details:

9. Colorado Reptile Humane Society


CoRHS has been helping reptiles since 1999 by providing shelter to unwanted and abandoned animals and educating the public.

They participate in local and international conservation efforts by rehabilitating and releasing native species into the wild. They have licensed rehabilitators on staff with Colorado Parks & Wildlife. 

CoRHS takes a strong stance against breeding captive reptiles and recognizes that most animals that end up in their care are the result of irresponsible breeders and owners.

They thoroughly screen potential adopters before an animal can live in their care. CoRHS will ship their reptiles anywhere in the country if they find a home to be suitable. 

Colorado Reptile Humane Society Details:

10. Austin’s Reptile Rescue & Rehabilitation


A passionate fighter in the battle against reptile cruelty, Austin rescues countless reptiles across Utah every year. ARR&R is a no-kill sanctuary that will take in any reptile, provide it with necessary care, and rehome it when it is ready.

If a reptile is unadoptable, Austin uses it for educational purposes to help share their knowledge of reptile care. 

Austin is available to help with any questions or concerns to try and help pet parents keep their pets in their forever homes.

Austin recognizes that it is not always easy to provide the best care for reptiles, but our responsibility is to be educated and loving and do our best. 

Austin’s Reptile Rescue & Rehabilitation Details:

11. Creepy Critters Rescue


President of Creepy Critters, Jennifer Ramsey, is a Veterinary Rehabilitation Specialist passionate about “creepy” animals that many people fear.

Using her expertise and love for animals, she now runs her non-profit organization that runs entirely on donations. Her volunteer staff share her passion for the critters and love the opportunity to help. 

Creepy Critters Rescue claims never to turn away an animal, regardless of its prognosis or behavioral issues. They are determined to rehabilitate, socialize and rehome all reptiles that come their way. 

Creepy Critters Rescue Details:

12. Little Lives Small Animal Rescue


The owners founded Little Lives in 2016 when the number of animals being abandoned in the area was very high.

They became the first small animal rescue in the tri-city and surrounding areas. Since then, the amount of abandoned animals has decreased, and the number of surrenders has increased.

Little Lives aims to rescue and rehome these animals, including reptiles, and educate the community as much as possible. They have helped over 800 animals since opening, and the number continues to grow. 

Little Lives Small Animal Rescue Details:

Conclusion For “Best Reptile Rescues in The USA”


If you love reptiles and haven’t been able to have one as a pet, these organizations all over the country may be your answer.

All of them make excellent choices for your new rescue reptile and also increase your understanding and knowledge of these often misunderstood animals.

Reptile ownership helps the community as well since friends and family get exposure to “creepy” animals they would otherwise not know much about. As a reptile owner, you can enjoy your friend and educate others!

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