Help Fresh Start Rescue obtain a special Permit to house and use reptiles over 25 pounds.

Help Fresh Start Rescue obtain a special Permit to house and use reptiles over 25 pounds.

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Fresh Start Rescue Inc started this petition to Pender County Board of Commissioners

Pender County ordinance outlaws any reptile that weighs over 25 pounds calling them inherently dangerous animals. That blanket statement is like calling dogs or any other animal over 25 pounds inherently dangerous. Many reptiles can grow over 25 pounds, which doesn’t make them instantly dangerous to people.

Fresh Start Rescue teaches many educational events throughout the year with various reptiles including some species that weigh more than 25 pounds. In Pender county, the rescue cannot provide the children with the same training and experience as children in other counties due to this ordinance. This ordinance also means that the rescue cannot house them or include them in events, festivals, outreaches or private events such as Boy and Girl Scouts or birthday parties in Pender County.

Fresh Start Rescue has responded every time it was needed, either initiated by the county 911 or private citizens in the Pender county area who have heard about us from seeing us at festivals or events. The calls have included requests to take possession of unwanted exotic pets instead of taking them to the county shelter which saves the County from spending a single cent.  We provide all transportation, housing and vet care for the animals out of the rescue’s account, again saving the county money.  All of the services to the county that Fresh Start provides are free, including all of the educational events. For the upcoming 2020 school year, the rescue is planning a mobile reptile educational classroom to utilize for all the teachers and afterschool programs that request it. We have the support of many teachers and are reaching out to get the support of the entire school board at a meeting we are scheduled to attend in August 2019.

We propose that the county issue Fresh Start Rescue a special permit or waiver to allow the boarding and use of reptiles over 25 pounds. The rescue would be open for inspections by county officials and would follow the NC Law G.S. 14-417.1 regarding the housing of large constrictors. The law states that they would have to be housed in a sturdy and secure enclosure which also must be “designed to be escape-proof” and must have a working lock. In transport, the containers for these snakes must likewise be “designed to be escape-proof.” Written safety protocols and an escape recovery plan must be kept in sight of the permanent housing also.

Fresh Start Rescue wants to continue providing Pender County government and its citizens free services saving them both money and providing free STEM education for its students. To do this Fresh Start needs a special permit to handle and house reptiles that sometimes reach over 25 pounds.

 

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