On Tuesday morning, January 24,  we drove to Richmond to meet with other Virginia wildlife educators, zoo directors, animal rescues, wildlife veterinarians, and small business owners who will all be negatively impacted if Virginia Senate Bill No. 477 and/or House Bill No. 1242 are passed.  We also spent time meeting with senators and house members to let them know the unintended consequences that would happen if these bills were passed.

We learned a few things that would be helpful for anyone interested in helping us stop the passage of these poorly written bills:

1.  Write hand written letters to the Senators and House Members on the committees in charge of the bills. The letter should give reasons why the bill, if passed as is, will impact you personally.  A one page letter is best.  We were informed that emails are rarely, if ever read.  Also, form letters are often thrown out before being read.  Hand written letters, from a personal perspective, are the most likely to have impact on a representative.

A list of state Senators, including all contact information,  involved in the bill is at http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?121+com+S01

The list of house members, including all contact information,  involved in the bill is athttp://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?121+sub+H01001

To find out who your Virginia representatives are, visit http://conview.state.va.us/whosmy.nsf/main?openform

2.  Be kind, cooperative, and respectful when addressing your representatives, their aides or any office staff, whether in writing or in person. Keep the door open with the legislator so that he/she will continue to listen to you in the future.  The goal is to have the bill thrown out – but sending the bill “out for study” is good too.   We agree that people need protection from dangerous animals, but these bills, as they are written, will  not stop dangerous animals from being kept in unsafe conditions in Virginia, they will only put a stop to responsible animal ownership and education.

3.  Meet with committee members in person, especially if the member represents your district.Plan ahead.  Be ready to make your point in 3-5 minutes.  Bring a lots of copies of the bill itself and a one page list of bullet points that summarize your position against the bill that you can give to each representative or his/her aide.  Many of the representatives may not have read the bill or may not be fully aware of what it says.   Also, remember to dress properly:  business attire is best.



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We had a great experience with Reptiles Alive for my daughter’s 6th birthday party. Rachel arrived exactly on time, set up quickly, and immediately engaged the group of curious children. We had an impromptu dance party while waiting for last minute guests and Rachel was very accommodating. The children LOVED the show!! And my soon-to-be 11 year old wants them to come for his birthday! I highly recommend Reptiles Alive for your next event!read more

Kelly Maguire

Kelly Maguire

22:57 12 Mar 18

We just had Reptiles Alive come to our preschool and the kids loved it!! We had 4 shows over 2 days to accommodate all our children and everything went great! Caroline was very easy to work with and quick to respond to all my emails. She was our presenter too and was early each day and ready to go when the kids arrived. She really geared her show towards our audience (2-5yr olds) and had them laughing and answering her questions and touching the animals. It was perfect… we would definitely book them again!!read more

Lauren Dolinski

Lauren Dolinski

20:47 01 Mar 18

We booked Reptiles Alive for our son’s 7th birthday party. Miss Rachel put on an amazing show for the 20 kids we had over. The highlight was when my son and I had the chance to hold a long and surprisingly heavy boa constrictor named Sunflower. The show was both educational and fun for the kids, and it kept them captivated for a full hour – priceless!!read more

Rick Jandrain

Rick Jandrain

01:53 06 Feb 18

Rachel is an awesome instructor and very good with many kids. The reptiles were fascinating. This was a great birthday party for my daughter and her second grade class.read more

Robert McKeon

Robert McKeon

23:26 26 Feb 18

We invited Reptiles Alive for our birthday party. Ms. Rachel did a wonderful job to educate the kids about the fun facts of Reptiles and also kept them entertained and focused. It’s not a easy job facing a bunch of 7-year-old boys and 3-year-old preschoolers. We highly recommend Reptiles Alive show. It’s fun and full of knowledge!read more

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Tianchan Niu

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