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Zoo Logic

Aug 22, 2019

We are onsite with the three founders of the Phoenix Herpetological Society to discuss their passion for rescuing animals in need, conserving endangered species, and educating the public about all kinds of ectotherms from cobras to crocodiles. PHS' mission is to "promote conservation and preservation of native and non-native reptiles through education, rehabilitation, rescue, and relocation." From its humble start, PHS now cares for over 1000 animals and boasts several firsts such as "Mr. Stubbs," an American alligator with the first ever prosthetic (tail) for a reptile.

According to, PHS was founded in 2001 by three long-time, passionate reptile enthusiasts with a vision to make a difference for reptiles in the state of Arizona. There were plenty of organizations to rescue many species of animals from dogs and cats to birds. However, there was no such facility or refuge for unwanted or rescued reptiles. Reptile owners had no outlet to relinquish ownership if needed nor was there a resource to acquire accurate, reliable information on the care and husbandry of reptiles as pets. In addition, native and non-native species were being destroyed by state facilities and other animal rescue agencies solely due to lack of knowledge regarding care and housing of these amazing creatures – native and exotic. In response, the Phoenix Herpetological Society (PHS) was launched. PHS services have grown over the years from solely taking in unwanted reptile pets to rattlesnake removal, rattlesnake removal training, helping take in and reunite lost and found reptiles, working with law enforcement agencies for illegal or confiscated animals, and even helping special needs reptiles.