A ball python adoption can take place in a private arrangement between an owner and another individual, or it may be arranged through an animal shelter or rescue organization. In some areas, reptiles may be housed by specialized shelters that may then attempt to match the animals with suitable adopters. Shelters typically screen those who are interested in ball python adoption to ensure that the ball python will be cared for properly in its new home. In a private adoption, the owner may or may not hold potential adopters to any criteria other than that the adopters be willing to take on responsibility for the snake.
Ball pythons, also known as royal pythons, are a relatively small type of python that can, over time, get used to human contact and handling. As a result, the ball python is a popular household pet. In some cases, however, the ball python may grow unusually large or may exhibit other behaviors such that its owners may feel that they can no longer properly care for it. These owners may attempt to find someone else who is willing to adopt the pet by placing classified ads or spreading the word throughout their social networks.
If the ball python owner is unable to find a home for the snake, he is often faced with the option of having it euthanized or trying to find an animal shelter that can take responsibility for its care. Many standard animal shelters are not equipped to house reptiles and instead specialize in caring for and re-homing less exotic pets such as cats, dogs, and guinea pigs. In response to this, some reptile lovers have established shelters and rescue organizations dedicated to the care and future adoption of snakes, lizards, and other reptiles.
The process of ball python adoption conducted through an animal shelter typically begins with a thorough medical assessment of the snake. Unfortunately, ball pythons can easily become infected with parasites and mites, so these issues need to be addressed before the snake will be ready for adoption. Once the python is healthy and ready to be placed in a new home, the shelter will typically take steps to match the snake with a potential adopter. Not all of the shelters have the funds to engage in the active recruitment of people interested in ball python adoption. Reptile enthusiasts, however, may be aware of local shelters and can apply to adopt an animal. After an evaluation, which may include a discussion of the adopter's experience caring for reptiles, a possible home visit, as well as the payment of an adoption fee, the snake may be sent home with its new caretaker.