by Owen Maercks on Mar 1, 2015
“I went to my first reptile breeder’s convention in 1985. Looking back, I am breathless at the vast expanse of things I didn’t know, but that first show was an eye-opener. Like most American hobbyists at that time, my perception of rat snakes was limited to those native to the U.S. My store had Everglades, yellows, blacks, Texas, Great Plains, grays and, of course, the icon of American snakes, the corn snake. But displayed on…”

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by Owen Maercks on Feb 1, 2015
“In the pet specialty business, one distinction that separates the sale of herps and fish from dog and cat sales—and, to a lesser extent, bird sales—is the amount of education retailers need to impart to customers before a new pet can safely go home. In truth, all pets need an…”
by Owen Maerck on Dec 29, 2014
“The sale of baby turtles, and particularly baby red-eared sliders (Trachemys scripta elegans), has a long and controversial history in the United States. Knowing the ins and outs of how to operate within the strictures of the law, and basic ethics are key for any herptile retailer. After all, the…”
by Owen Maercks on Dec 1, 2014
“When I see kids wandering through my store, wide-eyed and slack-jawed, I try to imagine the store through their eyes. It must be amazing. Lizards as big as they are, tortoises that fit in the palms of their hands and snakes capable—even if unwilling—of swallowing them whole. Such a store…”
by Owen Maercks on Nov 1, 2014
“It used to be that the go-to land turtle pet in the United States was the box turtle. In some parts of the country, that is still true, as they inhabit a wide swath of our natural habitat. In terms of our industry, however, box turtles as pets are on…”