Rescue organization Reptile Hunters hopes to dispel myths, misconceptions about snakes

Leticia Juarez Image
Wednesday, May 15, 2024
IE rescue organization helps rehabilitate abandoned snakes
Joseph Hart's Rescue Hunters organization aims to educate the public about snakes and other cold natured creatures to help dispel myths about them.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (KABC) -- Alaska isn't your typical warm and fuzzy kind of pet, but she is the face of Reptile Hunters in Riverside, a rescue organization.

The boa constrictor is the first snake 24-year-old reptile hunter Joseph Hart rescued and why he's intent on saving abandoned pets like her.

"A lot of times, they are dropped off on the streets. I've seen animals be dropped off in dumpsters and also dropped off at pet stores," said Hart. "The purpose behind Reptile Hunters is to get them nice and healthy and then find them the perfect home for them."

It's a purpose he found four years ago and one that he can't do without help from volunteers like Minuet Mcartor.

"I love how here we can help them get back to health, get new homes, get healthier like we got some snakes on medication, or who are underweight, but seeing them every week as they begin to improve it's such a good feeling," Mcartor said.

Colt Pearson, 13, has a pet gecko and came onboard looking for school volunteer hours.

"They do make good pets. People should not be worried about snakes being evil or constantly trying to attack them. Just that they can really be good pets," Colt said.

The volunteers clean, feed and play with the more than 50 animals representing 16 different species of reptiles, mammals and some birds.

Hart is a licensed wildlife rehabilitator, which is why he's the only one who can handle the two venomous rattlesnakes he keeps for his educational program. Hart believes by educating the public about these cold natured creatures, it will help dispel some of the myths and misconceptions about them.

If you'd like to learn more about Reptile Hunters, visit