Phoenix Herpetological Society to the rescue!

By Pete Mohr | February 10, 2010

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russ johnson and dan marchand of the phoenix herpetological society
SCOTTSDALE – Phoenix Herpetological Society (PHS) Chairman Russ Johnson (l) displays two of the 20 Ball Pythons from Africa, and Curator Dan Marchand gives a shoulder rest to one of the 50 Chinese Water Dragons received in Dallas, Texas, on Feb. 4 and transported immediately back to PHS. Johnson and Marchand rescued approximately 600 “animals” (mammals, reptiles, amphibians and arachnids) from a holding facility of the Dallas Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).

On Dec. 16, 2009, after a seven-month undercover operation by a PETA agent posing as an employee of U.S. Global Exotics (USGE), SPCA, armed with an order from Arlington, Texas, Municipal Court, seized approximately 26,000 animals, many horribly abused, from USGE.
U.S. Global Exotics is a wholesaler to the exotic pet trade, owned and operated by Jansen Shaw and his wife, Vonessa. According to an angry and disgusted Johnson, “This guy (Shaw) was the ‘Idi Amin’ of the animal world!” Johnson and Marchand made the 2,200 mile round trip, hauling the PHS trailer, in less than three days at a total gasoline cost of just under $1,000! The rescued animals were unloaded at PHS on Saturday, Feb. 6, by 20 volunteers, led by board member Terry Driggers, D.V.M., who worked tirelessly to treat the animals in the most serious condition.

PHS Vice President Debbie Gibson expressed appreciation to Home Depot (Carefree Highway) and Diamondback Pharmacy for their respective contributions of storage racks and medicine.

kinkajouOf the new arrivals, Johnson explained, “Dan and I intentionally identified primarily small snakes and lizards that would be suitable for adoption by children – with parental involvement, of course.” Adoption inquiries and requests may be directed to Marchand at 602-550-7029.

Financial contributions, fully tax deductible, may be mailed to PHS at 20701 N. Scottsdale Road, Suite 107, Mail Box #401, Scottsdale, AZ 85255.

“Our food and medical costs are going to increase significantly,” Gibson anticipates. “We got a lot of animals needing immediate care and rehabilitation. All contributions will be greatly appreciated.”

Sonoran News congratulates all at PHS who’ve worked to make possible this rescue of 600 of God’s helpless creatures. If he (or she?) could, the Kinkajou (above), a tree-dweller in the Central American rain forests, would say “thank you,” too!

Photos by Pete Mohr