As Liz approached The Reptile Refuge Centre where she volunteered, she could see the parking lot was filled with police vehicles.
She didn't pull in to see what had happened though she had good idea and it wasn't something she wanted to get involved in.
She needed to ditch The Reptile Refuge's van and disappear, but there was a problem.
What to do with six Ball Pythons, three Carpet Boas, a Corn Snake, four Geckos, a Bearded Dragon, a four foot long, unruly Black Throated Monitor, two Red-Eared Slider Turtles, Spots, the forty pound Leopard Tortoise and Iggy, her Iguana. They'd all accompanied her to the presentation at an elementary school and now were in the back of the vehicle.
An anonymous call to the SPCA was not an option. They couldn't even find homes for all the cats and dogs they took in, and they were cute and cuddly. Her herps would likely die in the shelter or be euthanized.
These animals depended on her, some she'd looked after for nearly two years, a few she'd nursed back from the brink of death. You spend that long with something, even a snake or a lizard and, well, you get to know them. You get attached.
She couldn't abandon them.
She knew her old high school friend, Mattie Saunders, had a sanctuary for exotic birds. Birds? Reptiles? Not that much difference. At least it would be better than taking all them home to the tiny basement suite she lived in.
Cold-Blooded, Book 2 in The Mattie Saunders Series has Mattie navigating personal relationships, the challenges of education and career all the while addressing the issues of the exploitation of reptiles as exotic pets and the devastating opioid crisis sweeping North America.