Reptiles Alive Question/Answer Time…

We receive questions about reptiles every day from people at our shows, on the phone, or from email.  Here is a question we recently received:

You recently came to my school and preformed for us. I was amazed with the reptiles you brought!
My mom said I can choose a new pet and I wanted a snake! But when I told my mom I wanted a snake she said “it can’t bite that often! And try to find a snake that won’t eat us!” So I have been looking online but I am having a hard time finding one that fits that profile! Can you help me? Or are there any places around Lorton that sell snakes that are well taken for? Thank you!


We do not generally recommend snakes as pets. They are more difficult to care for properly than most people imagine and often become sick, unwanted or worse.

However, if you are committed to caring for your pet properly, I highly suggest adopting a snake instead of purchasing one from the pet store. Since snakes don’t make good pets, there are many, many snakes at animal rescue groups and shelters.

All snakes will bite – so if you get a pet snake, expect that it will bite you at least sometimes.

A few snakes that are typically available in rescue groups that do not get more than 6 feet long:
Ball python
Corn snake
King snake

Please do a lot of research on each of these species BEFORE making you decision. Make an appointment with a veterinarian who treats reptiles.  In the northern Virginia area we recommend Stahls Exotic Animal Veterinary Clinic.

Make the appointment for the week of your adoption so that your animal can get a check up and you can be sure that you have all the right equipment and information to properly care for your pet.

Here are few possible places where you can adopt a snake:

The Animal Welfare League of Alexandria Animal Shelter

Virginia Reptile Rescue

There are many other animal rescue groups that adopt reptiles to the public.  You can do a search for “reptile rescue” and find many of them.

Good luck!