Sleeping Giant Exotics works to care for surrendered or abandoned animals, while using their training and expertise to educate people
Keeping exotic animals as pets requires a lot of research, preparation and ongoing development.
Sleeping Giant Exotics owners Amanda Shillington and Mayson Bilton rescue mostly cold-blooded pets that have been surrendered or abandoned and use their expertise and training to educate others.
“We mainly do it all ourselves, we take in the animals and keep them for a couple weeks just so we learn their personalities and see if they have anything wrong with them. Then we’ll re-home them. Our space is really limited,” Shillington says.
It all began when Bilton realized there were many bearded dragons being adopted to owners who were not adequately prepared for the responsibility. They began to rehabilitate surrendered bearded dragons and use their own healthy reptiles to inform the public about the needs of these unique creatures.
Sleeping Giants Exotics works with other rescue groups to rehabilitate neglected animals. They fund their rescue by offering various services and offer educational presentations, boarding, adoptions, reptiles for film projects and more.
“We fund everything through birthday parties, schools, daycares,” Shillington said, noting they have special animals for these events.
“We have a select few that we call our educational ambassadors that are used to being handled, they’re our pets. We talk about what the animal needs and how they are in the wild.”
Sleeping Giant Exotics take on more than reptiles, any animals that are outside of the expertise of conventional rescue services, like chinchillas and exotic birds. Their main focus is educating pet owners and reducing the need for rescue and re-homing.
“We’re always willing to answer questions that people have about caring for their pet,” says Shillington. “That’s mainly why we started, to just answer questions and help out.”
Some pet stores that sell reptiles are not equipped or educated enough to inform customers about caring for exotic animals in the long-term.
“The care changes with age and different set-ups. They may know the old way, information is constantly changing and what we know about caring for these animals has changed a lot just over the last five years.”
For more information about Sleeping Giant Exotics check their Facebook page, where they are always updating their followers about their next public appearances and exotic animals that are ready for adoption.