The Scottish SPCA is seeking good homes for 12 terrapins plus several other exotic creatures.
Scotland’s animal welfare charity has received more than 80 unwanted and abandoned exotic creatures so far this year.
These include over 30 bearded dragons and scores of terrapins and snakes.
Experienced reptile owners are now being urged to come forward and offer them permanent, loving homes where they will receive the care and attention they deserve.
The Scottish SPCA is also urgently appealing for donations of good quality second hand exotics equipment including vivariums, basking lights, UV bulbs, water filters, floating logs and accessories to help the charity care for the ever increasing number of reptiles it rescues.
Chief inspector Fiona Greig said: “Exotic creatures such as terrapins and bearded dragons can be more expensive to care for than the average family dog.
“Once you factor in the cost of the purchase and set up, electricity, feeding and care you are looking at quite a costly pet, so this is not an animal to be considered on a whim.
“Terrapins can be bought cheaply from pet shops when they are the size of a 50 pence piece and look very cute.
“But often people don’t realise that they can grow up to 12 inches long, live for 10 to 15 years and have a tendency to bite.
“Some buyers also don’t appreciate the level of cleaning and care required to keep an exotic creature in a healthy condition.
“There is also a boredom factor with these pets because you can’t take them for a walk or cuddle and play with them.
“These are the reasons why so many reptiles and aquatics end up in our care. It’s a real shame though because, with the right owners, they can make excellent pets that provide hours of pleasure and enjoyment.
“We are encouraging exotics enthusiasts to visit our centres and offer good, knowledgeable homes to these wonderful animals.”
If you are interested in rehoming an exotic creature or if you are able to donate exotics equipment please contact the Scottish SPCA Animal Helpline on 03000 999 999.