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Philadelphia Herpetological Society

Frequently Asked Questions

also see the Commonwealth's FAQ for Reptile & Amphibian Info

Does the PHS accept animals for adoption?

We do try to take as many unwanted reptiles/amphibians as possible. However, resources for quarantine, housing, medical care, etc. are limited. Our volunteers have a finite amount of space and are not always able to accept your animals. You may email to discuss the situation with us. We never purchase animals; we do not board animals; and we do not encourage release into the wild. Under some extreme circumstances we may advise euthanasia for debilitated animals, venomous exotics, or very large constrictors for which we can not place.

Do you publish the Bulletin of the Philadelphia Herpetological Society?

The Bulletin has not been published for a number of years and although we have an upcoming special publication dedicated to Mal Skaroff in the works, the status of the Bulletin is improving. We do plan on periodically issuing a newsletter, if submissions warrant. Libraries: Please stop sending subscription renewals.

Can you provide copies, reprints, or photocopies of articles that appeared in the Bulletin?

We prefer you work with your school library to acquire these materials via interlibrary loan, but if all else fails, you certainly may make a specific request and we will try to accommodate. Only a small fraction of our archives have been digitalized, so we will send photocopies if available. Please allow a couple weeks for our volunteers to process your request. If more than a couple pages, we might charge you a modest duplication fee.

Can you supply reptiles for entertainment at my child’s party?

Sorry, we do not.

Do you have a list of local captive breeders of <insert reptile here> ?

We experimented a while back in collecting such a list but received no submissions.

I operate a pet shop /other business. Can I get a list of your members to do a direct mailing?

No, we do not release our member list. We may be able to accommodate an alternate method via an ad, email distribution, or inclusion of a flyer in a newsletter mailing, for a modest fee.

A local Pet Shop is not caring for its reptiles properly; I tried to educate them them, to no avail. Can your society do anything?

We suggest you write to the administration of the retailer or consider contact the licensing authority in the community where the business resides, if you wish to make a report. Our group has no authority to enforce any standards of care.

What are the laws in the City of Phila / State of Pennsylvania/ elsewhere regarding <some aspect of reptile/amphibian interaction> ?

Please contact any governmental agency directly, as we generally do like like to interpret, speculate, or provide incomplete advice. This is especially important as laws are vague and may chage periodically. These links may be of service:

Are you connected with other groups, such as Reptile and Amphibian Society of Philadelphia (RASP); Philadelphia Reptile Club; Philly Zoo; Philadelphia Turtles & Tortoise Society; Facebook Phila. R&A; Online Special Interest Groups; NJ Herp Society; etc.

As a society, no direct connections. However, we may share individual members (or more likely past members). We are not opposed to collaboration on projects or meetings, and would explore the possibilities if they are consistent with our goals.

I was a PHS member in the past and was disappointed because there were few educational meetings/publications.

We regret that we were unable to meet your needs. Any society needs more than 83 cents a month from its members to be productive. A viable society needs participation and shared expertise. PHS currently is building critical mass of productive volunteers that are providing their own time, money, and energy to build a stable infrastructure. Once we have enough people that can communicate, collaborate, and work together in a positive, and fun team, we might be able to provide more value to the non-working members.

I would like to visit your wildlife preserve in NJ; What do I need to do?

Our land in NJ is open to the public (at their own risk and peril) however, it is true wilderness. No trails; no paved parking; lots of ticks; and firearm/bow hunting immediately adjacent. If you still want to visit; write to Mark Miller, Phila Herp Soc., PO Box 52261, Philadelphia PA 19115 for a map, parking permit, and release form. Please do not attempt a visit without a dashboard parking permit.

How can I join the society?

Please sign up on our email list (details at ) Participation is encouraged and optional membership is available for $10/yr. For 2009 we will waive membership fee for all full-time students (just send a photocopy of school ID or equiv.)

We are researching various ways to fund the society (book sales, speaker bureau fees, advertizing, etc.) so do share any ideas you might have.