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Reptile Super Show Pomona

The Reptile Super show in Pomona last weekend was a success and a great start to 2014 for pet keepers, hobbyists and breeders. The room was huge and filled with top vendors from across the country. The diversity of species and dealers at this show continues to grow and is nothing short of impressive. Serious reptile hobbyist Ton Jones from Auction Hunters also made his Super Show return, posed for loads of photos and brought smiles to many attendees.

The show was also a great beginning to 2014 for USARK and our efforts to defend the herp community. On top of all the generous auction donations from vendors, Reptile Super Show promoter Ramy Guirguis donated $6,000, Dan and Colette Sutherland from The Snake Keeper, Inc. and TSK Supply donated $1,000, Jay Brewer from Prehistoric Pets donated $500 and continues to raise funds, and Brian Barczyk from BHB Reptiles and Snakebytes TV donated $1,000 with continuous support throughout January with 10% of BHB reptile sales going to USARK.

The Saturday night benefit auction went very well thanks to the generosity of the show vendors and we raised $11,000. A couple donated snakes will be held until the RAACA Auction at www.facebook.com/groups/RAACAUCTIONS/. A $2,000 Paint Sand boa donated by Treacher's Creatures and a Caramel Spider Ball python donated by DZB Reptiles will be in their upcoming fundraiser. Below is a list of those who made the Super Show auction possible:

$1,500+: Hardy Reptiles (Susan Hardy), Ton Jones, Prehistoric Pets (Jay Brewer)

$750+: www.BreederSource.com, NoCo Reptiles, BHB Reptiles, Psychotic Exotics, DM Exotics

$500+: Reptile Super Show (Ramy Guirguis), Exotic Pets Las Vegas (Ken Foose), Josh Trout, Zoo Med, Layne Labs, Exo Terra, Serpents of the Damned, Southern California Herp Association & Rescue (SCHAR), SoCal Constrictors, Ron's Reptiles, Superior Balls & Dragons

$250+: Russ Gurley, Reptile Den, Gary Bagnall, Gex Wear, Herp Nation Media, Pet Kingdom, Econlux, J & M Cages, LLL Reptile, Greathouse Farm

$100+: Applegate Reptiles, SanTan Reptiles, Millipedes and More, Inland Bearded Dragons, 3rd Room Reptiles, HDI Reptiles, Powley Exotic Reptiles, Michael Beach, Geckos Etc., Southbay Tropical, Swanky Zoo, Sticky Tongue Farms, RosyBoas.net, Phantom Dragons, Sensational Pets, BJS Reptiles, YourGeckoGuy.com, Amazon Reptile Center, Andy's Orchids, Michael Dee, DIY Cages, FL Chams, Amazing Blue Reptiles, Forbidden Frogs, Desert Moon Reptiles, Monza Reptiles, Unbelievaballs, TortoiseSupply.com

Other Contributors: Rising Sun Reptiles, Reptile Rescue Orange County (RROC), David and Jenny, Exotic Pets, Southwestern Herps, Quality Woodcraft, Poor Boy Reptiles, Sunland Breeders, Reptiles Reptropolis, Rainbow Mealworms, BJO Reptiles, It's All About You Handbags, F.U.I.B. Pets, Elephants, Etc.

Volunteers: Lupe, Erin Sloan, Katy Bugler, Hannah, Bella, Forrest, Isaiah, Carlos, Jason (The Prez), Kim, Reiner, Justice, Ashton, Rebecca Clarkson

If we missed anyone, please let us know. We appreciate the support from everyone as these fundraisers allow USARK to continue the battle against anti-pet groups and anti-herp legislation.

SCHAR presents Bowling with Barczyk and Friends

This was the first event of its kind put together by the Southern California Herpetological Association and Rescue and will hopefully lead to more. SCHAR brought together people from all aspects of the herp industry to strengthen our community and build relationships. It was great to see a room filled with constructive communication, productive planning and smiling herpers. On top of the event, they held raffles and auctions that raised over $5,100 for USARK.

SCHAR is one of the most active herp societies in the country and they do loads to teach the general public about reptiles and our community through educational outreach programs. You can learn more and support this 501(c)3 organization at www.socalherpers.org and www.facebook.com/socalherpassn. Thank you Jason, Mark, Kim, Heather, Erik and SCHAR crew for setting a great example for other herp societies.

Auction contributors included: Cal Zoo, LLL Reptile, 480 Pythons, SoCal Constrictors, Southbay Tropical, Millipedes and More, J & M Cages, SCHAR, Goss Reptiles, www.BreederSource.com (Jordan Russell), Southbay Tropical, Myke Clarkson, DM Exotics, World Serpent Exotics, Zoo Med, Cafe Rio, Jim at Western Hognose, Reptiles Magazine, OC Balls, Reptile Ave., Ecco Geckos
and Herp Nation MediaThank you to everyone that made this a memorable event and for your support of USARK.

Reptile and Amphibian Charity Auction (RAACA) Round 2

Jordan Russell and Myke Clarkson are preparing for round 2 of the RAACA auctions to benefit the USARK Reptile Defense Fund. The next fundraiser begins 1/15 and ends 1/19. They raised over $41,000 with the last auction, which benefits our lawsuit expenses greatly. You can get all the details at www.facebook.com/groups/RAACAUCTIONS. Thank you, Myke, Jordan, Rebecca, Tammy and all involved. Your work and roles as supportive members of the herp world are appreciated.

TXARK Announcement

"After years of discussion and local battles already fought, Texas keepers have decided to create their very own organization to represent us at the local level in Texas. USARK is a fantastic representative for us on the national level, but they are not big enough or have enough representation to fight at the local county and city level in every state. It's impossible. After much discussion with Phil Goss of USARK, Jeff Adams of Snakedays here in Texas, Bonnie and Randal Berry of Texas Reptiles expos, Laura and Adrian Berg of Crossbone Corns and many others, we've decided to move forward on this.

I'm sure many of you are already aware of the situation that arose in Wilson County a little over a year ago. Boas and Pythons were selected to be banned, as were non-native venomous. Wilson County herpers had to react too late and start from scratch to mount any educated response. After so much help from around the state and even across the country we were able to get the ban replaced with regulations. This really put an emphasis on our lack of representation at the local level. That's where TXARK will come in for Texas.After seeing local battle after local battle, many of us decided to come together and do something about it!" - TXARK (Jason and Kassandra Royer)

Learn more about TXARK at www.facebook.com/TXARK. Thank you to everyone involved with TXARK. This will be a great example for other herpers to follow to support the herp community.

Reptile Defense Fund Update

We will have updates concerning the lawsuit soon. USARK filed the complaint on December 18, 2013. Under federal rules of procedure, the government has sixty (60) days to answer a complaint or otherwise respond. Usually, the “administrative record” (the rule, comments, analysis, etc.) is produced at the same time. The court then asks the parties to propose a schedule, or set a default schedule, for further proceedings.The USARK Reptile Defense Fund continues to grow thanks to the support from the herp community. We have raised just over $90,000, with more committed from several sources, and would like to mention a few recent contributors: $1,000 from Chicago Herpetological Society (CHS), $6,000 from California Zoological Supply (Ty Dillon), $1,000 from Geckos Etc. (Steve Sykes), $1,000 from Repashy Superfoods (Allen Repashy).

We would also like to thank Jared Morrison who completed a fundraising jar label that can be used by pet shops and reptile show vendors. This label can be printed at www.usark.org/print-promos/. Proceeds from these jars can be sent to the USARK Reptile Defense Fund via Payal at donation@USARK.org or by sending a check make out to USARK at:

USARK Reptile Defense Fund
3650 Sacramento Drive
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

Donations can be made online at www.usark.org/reptile-defense-fund-2. You can view the Defense Fund Donor Wall at www.usark.org/usark-announcement/reptile-defense-donor-wall.


North Myrtle Beach Anti-herp Legislation

The ordinance was passed by a vote of 7-0, with no public comments at the meeting. This is a new ordinance that prohibits: "1. sell, give away, barter, exchange; 2. display in any street, right-of-way, public property or private property open to the public; 3. intentionally release from captivity..." any "exotic animal." "Exotic animal" includes many species: Boa constrictors, Burmese pythons, Ball pythons, Brazilian Rainbow boas, Water monitors, Some venomous species and others. This ordinance (and an amended ordinance) and species list can be found at http://www.nmb.us/files/pdf/uploads/agendaMinutes/849-January%206%20Council%20Meeting%20Agenda.pdf (pages 18-22). A news article can be found at http://m.wmbfnews.com/#!/newsDetail/24387066. USARK was not made aware of this issue by any local hobbyists, who also may not have been notified.

For any issues at the local level, please contact USARK at info@USARK.org. We can send information and steps to fight or even amend ordinances. The process is not difficult but a few people locally must cooperate and educate the lawmakers.

Windy City Reptiles (WCR) Fundraiser

Windy City Reptiles is planning a benefit raffle for USARK and will hold a raffle at Scott Smith's All Animal Expo on Sunday, January 19th in Wheaton, IL. Get more details at https://www.facebook.com/events/1404892413089091. Thanks, WCR!

Upcoming Events and News

NARBC Arlington: NARBC hits Texas on February 15-16. This is one of the top shows in the country with top vendors and great promoters, Bob Ashley and Brian Potter. Be sure to attend the USARK/PIJAC benefit auction Saturday night to protect your rights to keep reptiles and amphibians as pets. NARBC raised over $100,000 to support the pet community and Rico Walder. Support those that support you. Get all the details at http://narbc.com/Arlington/arlington.html.
 
iHerp's Aaron Florian speaks up about exotic pet (including herps) ownership: http://www.iherp.com/Public/Blog/Detail.aspx?UID=164312

Texas Rattlesnake Festival: This inaugural event will happen March 8-9 in Round Rock, TX. Share and spread the word. This is an educational event and no snakes will be harmed. This needs to be the future of rattlesnake-related events. Help make it a reality!

"Our purpose and goal is to educate others of the beauty and values of these animals in hopes that people will develop a greater appreciation and respect for them. We hope to reduce or end the needless slaughter of of an animal that is gravely misunderstood. All animals on display at this event will be from private collections. In order to ensure no animals are captured for this event, no animals will be brought into the show without making prior arrangements with the show staff." - TRF


Get all the details at http://texasrattlesnakefestival.net/Home_Page.php and https://www.facebook.com/texasrattlesnakefestival?fref=ts.

Texas Conservation Legislation: The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has proposed an amendment to prohibit the use toxic substances to collect nongame wildlife. This would put a stop to using noxious chemicals to flush out and collect rattlesnakes from dens, for example. Commonly referred to as “gassing,” the use of these chemicals also has a negative impact on the environment as a whole. Comment through 5 p.m., January 22, 2014. Visit the link and let them know your opinion: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/business/feedback/public_comment/proposals/201401_nongame_means.phtml

Herp Nation Media: Enter promo code SUPER at http://www.herpnation.com/subscribe-to-herp-nation/ to get a subscription for only $30. Offer good through 1/15/14.

OKC Elite Reptile Show: After a great first show, the second OKC Elite show hits Oklahoma City on May 3-4. More information will be posted at https://www.facebook.com/events/254930164657115/?fref=ts.

National Reptile & Amphibian Advisory Council (NRAAC) Law Symposium: March 7-9, 2014 in Washington, D.C. Registration is free but limited to the first 200 registrants. The event will include three days of panels, workshops, breakout sessions and talks with the goal of bringing all parties interested in reptiles, amphibians and the law to the table. Discussion will be focused on changes and issues with current and proposed herp laws and regulations at the local, state, federal and international levels. Get the details at http://www.nraac.org/symposium2014.html.


Photo from the SCHAR Bowling with Barczyk event. From left: Ramy from the Reptile Super Show, Jason (SCHA Prez) from SCHAR, Brian from BHB Reptiles and Ton Jones from Auction Hunters, (Also, USARK volunteer Kim in the background). Click photo for more pictures.

Article written by USARK