New rescue centre sets out to help exotic pets in crisis

Clare Barnard with Grace, the crested gecko who was the inspiration for the name of the rescue service
Clare Barnard with Grace, the crested gecko who was the inspiration for the name of the rescue service

Looking after a pet can be a tricky thing and when it is an exotic pet things can be even harder - now a Market Rasen woman has set up a rescue centre to help if things go wrong.

Clare Barnard has been interested in the natural world since she was a child and has previously worked in a zoo.

She understands the complex requirements needed for these exotic pets and is keen to get the correct information out there.

“It is not always the owners fault when things go wrong,” said Clare. “A lot of these pets are bought from large chain stores who do not give out enough advice.”

One example is little Grace, a crested gecko, after whom the rescue centre - Grace’s Rest - is named.

“A lady bought Grace for her six year-old-daughter from a large store.

“The sad thing is, she did everything a responsible owner would do, but couldn’t understand why Grace was failing to thrive.

“Unfortunately, she had been told Grace didn’t need any heating and lighting, so when I got to her, she was absolutely freezing.”

And it is this sort of specialist advice Clare is also looking to give through her advice and education service.

“Googling the internet for tips is not enough,” said Clare.

“Ask around, talk to experts or make use of online forums.

“But most importantly, make sure you have a specialist exotic pets vet lined up before you buy.”

The rescue centre, which is self funded and runs on donations, currently has a bearded dragon and a salamander up for adoption.

More information: www.gracesrest.co.uk or www.facebook.com/GracesRest