by Owen Maercks on Jul 31, 2014
“I was sitting outside my store the other day, eating lunch and watching the turtles lazily paddle around their lagoon. As a family sauntered out of the store, I heard the mother say, “I can’t believe they have so many rattlesnakes—and such a variety of colors. Is that even legal?”This kind of reaction happens all the time. The snakes the woman was referring to are rat snakes—not rattlesnakes. Rattlesnakes are illegal in California, and even…”

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by Owen Maercks on Jul 1, 2014
“The evolution of legislation governing the sale and ownership of wildlife in San Francisco begins with an urban legend. There is scant documentation of the incident, but knowing the parties concerned, it seems plausible, and the politician at the heart of the story has not confirmed or denied the story…”
by Owen Maercks on Jun 1, 2014
“I cannot count the number of times folks have walked up to me in the shop and said, “You have about the scariest job in the world.” I don’t, of course. Not even close. Although, admittedly, dealing with the general public is terrifying. I do know what they are getting…”
by Owen Maercks on May 1, 2014
“      I am often asked, almost exclusively by folks outside the herp hobby or trade, “What’s trending in your business?” Those within the field know that “trending” is hardly an applicable word—the popularity of various exotic species seem to fluctuate on 10-year cycles, in contrast to the typically fast…”
by Owen Maercks on Apr 1, 2014
“Regular readers of this column will know that every month, I try to pass on tips and inspiration to bring greater success and pleasure to those who have chosen to work as reptile-sales associates. This month, however, in recognition of April Fool’s Day—one of my favorite holidays—I am going to…”