A tail about geckos: Kelly runs reptile rescue business

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A tail about geckos: Kelly runs reptile rescue business

Kelsie Garay, Staff Reporter

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As a gecko cries out for help, she swoops in to the rescue: this might sound like something a superhero does, but it’s all a part of freshman Megan Kelly’s job. Kelly runs a reptile rescue business, where she removes geckos and other lizards from unsafe living environments.

Kelly takes care of her rescued group of 12 geckos every day: she feeds them worms, crickets and fruit, checks on them to make sure they are healthy and organizes the leaves in their homes so they have lots of places to play and hide.

In addition to having an impressive array of animals, she also rescues injured lizards, takes care of them and then re-homes them with new owners. 

“I started my reptile rescue because I enjoyed saving reptiles from unhealthy situations,” Kelly said. “I take in animals that have been neglected or are unhealthy. Then I rehabilitate them and rehome them to well-educated owners.”

Kelly adopts geckos from pet stores, reptile shows and online, just to name a few places. 

“[A lot of stores] get [geckos] from a mass breeder who just mass breeds them and then gets rid of them, which is not that good. They also often don’t take that good care of them in the store: they feed them dead bugs and they don’t even provide the correct heat they need,” Kelly said. “It’s mainly the big chain pet stores, but local ones are usually a lot better with taking care of them because they have smaller amounts to take care of.”

As soon as she sees their sad faces and unhealthy living environment, she tries her best to rescue them. 

“I created my small business because I enjoy taking care of animals, specifically reptiles. I also like getting new animals and seeing them get adopted by loving owners. So far I’ve rescued about 25 reptiles,” Kelly said. 

Some geckos can cost around $1000. Luckily, Kelly’s geckos are only around $50. Interested buyers contact her through a reptile buying website, where different people can adopt and sell their own geckos,  and then are able to purchase her geckos through PayPal.

Kelly is currently in the process of creating her very own reptile website. People will be able to see pictures of her geckos, learn more about how to take care of them and some information about that specific type of gecko. Then, they will be able to adopt them through the site.

“I am going to use my website to  help promote my reptile rescue and adoption business,” Kelly said. 

Along with rescuing and selling live geckos, Kelly and her friend, sophomore Allie Millard, create art of other people’s lizards and pets.

“[We realized that] we like art, animals and earning money, and we have a ton of free time and like drawing so we’re like, ‘why not [start a business]?’”

Although their art business is small, they have made over 30 different drawings for various people. Unfortunately, many buyers didn’t want to pay for their art, which forced Kelly and Millard to end their business.

“[The requests for free art] got really annoying, and I think that’s what pushed us to delete the account. Literally every single one were just asking for free or they were like ‘We’ll advertise you’,” Millard said.

Although the reptile art business was unsuccessful, Kelly’s reptile rescue business is still doing well.

“Overall I’ve gained tons of experience with animals,” Kelly said. “I’ve learned about a lot of different species, different methods to take care of them, and about different treatments for sick animals as well.”

If you are interested in adopting a gecko, you can contact Megan Kelly at [email protected]

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