An ANIMAL charity has launched an appeal for reptile fans to adopt nearly 40 stray snakes after struggling to rehome them.
The Scottish SPCA is swamped with snakes that have either been abandoned or which escaped their owner’s home.
And staff at the charity’s animal rescue centre in Balerno are caring for 39 of the creatures but say they are not as popular as cats and dogs.
The animals were all rescued from the Edinburgh, Lothians, Fife and Borders area and include a variety of breeds commonly kept as pets.
Assistant manager Kenny Sharpe said: “We have corn snakes, king snakes, rat snakes, milk snakes and garter snakes.
“Corn snakes make popular pets as they are typically quite docile and easy to handle, whereas our king snakes are looking for more experienced owners.
“We also have a group of four young garter snakes who were born here at our centre.
“They are approximately six inches in length and are still growing. They have only been fed a pinkie diet.
“Noddy the king snake is our longest resident having been with us for over 953 days. In fact, many of our snakes have been overlooked for over two years.
“Unfortunately we just don’t have the same level of rehoming interest in our snakes as we do for our more popular pets such as dogs and cats.”
Mr Sharpe said that many snakes end up in the charity’s care after escaping from their homes and being found in the street.
He added: “Snakes can easily break out of their vivarium if the lid isn’t properly closed or weighed down so it’s no surprise so many end up in our care. It’s common for us to rescue snakes from all sorts of places, from outside on the street, in a garden or inside someone’s flat.
“More often than not no-one comes forward for the snake so it’s difficult for us to know whether it has escaped from home of been abandoned.
“While we would never encourage impulsive rehoming, we would encourage anyone interested in any of our snakes to contact us.”
Anyone who can offer a snake new home is being asked to contact the Scottish SPCA on 03000 999 999.