Nov. 29, 2022

Public Safety Announcement- Scaley Addictions Founder Theresa Carcioppolo

Public Safety Announcement- Scaley Addictions Founder Theresa Carcioppolo

Teresa is a 911 dispatcher, an author, and the founder of Scaley Addictions. 
Teresa has embraced the need that is out there for these reptiles that get abandoned and to foster them and put them back into foster homes. Theresa also wrote a book for children on when to call 911. In the same manner, she uses her rescue animals in that book to demonstrate when to call 911. Theresa's rescued reptiles are also of big help for her mental health.

Book a free discovery call on how to Keep The Fire Burning in your relation or develope an Overcoming Obstacles mindset at https://calendly.com/enduringthebadge/15min
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Transcript

Hi everyone, and welcome to this week's episode of Enduring the Badge Podcast. I'm host Jerry Dean Lund, and I don't want you to miss an upcoming episode, so please hit that subscribe button. And while your phone's out, please do me a favor and give us a review on iTunes, our Apple podcast. It says, Hey, this podcast has a great message and we should send it out to more people.

So please take that 30 seconds to a minute to do that review and just maybe by doing that, it'll push this up into someone's podcast feed that really needs this message. Hey everyone, before we jump into this next. I want to talk to you about the two coaching programs I offer. I offer one on relationships, and I offer one on mindset.

The relationship program is very extensive and dives down deeply into your relationship so you can know what is making it great. And know what is not making it great and how to solve those problems. And I know it's very difficult these days, especially if we're just being moms and dads and running around in this crazy world.

Our relationships can go from thriving to barely surviving. And I know if you're like me, you want your relationship to last forever. My other program is on mindset. I want you to have the mindset that is going to help you discover your inner wisdom and motivation and is gonna cause you to grow to your truest potential.

That mindset is gonna make you successful, not just on the job, but off the. Where it's just as important to be successful, and that will create the life that you desire for a lifetime. My very special guest today is Teresa from Scaly Addictions. Teresa is a 9 1 1 dispatcher. She's also a book author and then she runs a reptile rescue from her home.

Teresa has embraced the need that is out there for these reptiles that get abandoned and to foster them and put 'em back into foster homes. There also wrote a book for children on when to call 9 1 1, and she uses her rescue animals in that book to demonstrate when to call 9 1 1. There also uses these rescue reptiles for her mental health.

They're great therapy for her, and we're gonna jump into this episode and listen to how she puts us all together to make this happen on a daily basis. Now let's jump right into this episode with my very special guest there. Reset. How are you doing, Theresa? I'm good. How are you? I'm doing fantastic. Thank you for asking.

There. Tell the audience a little bit about yourself and, uh, a little bit about what you're doing. So I'm a dispatcher in Cobb County in Georgia. Um, I celebrate five years this Sunday. Um, I'm a rookie to many, but I feel like I've been there forever. Um, and um, so I just became cto. So that's the new adventure we're going into doing my training this weekend.

Um, But with that outside of work, I run a reptile rescue, um, where we take in, um, rescue surrenders with our animal control. We get a lot of abandoned re uh, reptiles in apartments and houses, and then of course those that people just check outside. So, um, uh, I say, uh, warm blooded by day, coldblooded by night.

So . Well, thank you for being a dispatcher. That is like a, uh, I feel like a very. Forgotten and thankless job. Like when it comes to the first responder world, it's definitely a huge nucleus part of that first responder world. Absolutely. I love it. I, I didn't think I'd love it as much as I do, but I do. Um, it, it kind of, I came in and I'm like, is this really.

The thing for me, and then the first couple of domestics over petty stuff, I'm like, really? Is this what I'm gonna be doing for the rest of my life? Yeah. Um, but here I am. So five years not more to give. So yeah, I enjoy it. So let's dive into like, you felt like you were burned out there for a while, and then what you did to, you know, rejuvenate.

Yeah, so this is my only center I've ever worked for, so I don't have anything to compare it to. So I thought, um, the director that we had, that's how all directors are, you know, um, kind of like you only saw her if you were in trouble, and most of the time you didn't come back on the floor when you went and saw her.

Um, so I just, I figured that's it. You get promoted to supervisor and then you're kind of looking, I'm like, What are you doing differently? Wasn't really a watch, from my perspective anyway, um, for, for them either. So I got to where we had the typical stuff, you know, negative Nancys endless calls, petty calls, crazy calls, heartbreaking calls, and it just, it weighs on you.

And when you don't have the proper management behind you, it makes the world a difference. It's kind of like that bad marriage, right? You don't realize how bad your marriage is until you leave it and you get into something. Relationship's, actually a healthy one. Yeah. Um, so I was on the verge of, of just being done.

And I've never quit a job, you know, I've always stuck it out. I'm, I'm just, I'm die hard. I, I walked into my two jobs ago until he literally shut the doors. Um, so I figured, okay, well I don't have to ask permission to write a book. You know, they don't have any, any say over what I do with that. So I decided to write a book named, can I call 9 1 1?

Um, so it kind of takes my day job with my night job and mixes them together. And it's basically the same. So it's my reptiles are my characters. This is Turbo, the Tortoise . And, um, here's the real turbo. Um, but it basically starts where, you know, every class learns who we are in school. Um, and then we tell them, don't call 9 1 1 until you have an emergency.

Um, and then it, it just goes through. Turbo is is determined. He's gonna call 9 1 1 and it just shows all these situations. He's stuck on his homework. He's arguing with his sister, he sees his neighbor drop her, her groceries. So little stuff. These are like real calls that we've taken, you know? Yeah. And.

Even at one point, halfway through, he does call 9 1 1 for the all loved, uh, cat, the tree call. Um, so my favorite part in there was, have you ever seen cat bones in the tree? That's right. It comes down. So, I mean, it doesn't go into, it probably falls outta the, you know, it's time's for the sake of a kid. It comes down.

Yeah. And then in the end, he helped save his neighbor's house. Um, there's smoke coming and the house is on fire and he saved the house and the neighbors. So, um, kind of teaching them. Different things. The importance of learning their address, their phone number, how mom put him over and over to where he didn't have to think about it.

Um, so all the aspects of a lot of people forget, you know, before the cops get there. It's us who you talk to. Sure. So Sure. And then, but I love it. Yeah. That's awesome. That's awesome. I love, I love that the characters in the book, um, are representation of what you're doing in life with your, uh, rescue. Yeah, I just, and people are like, well, why reptiles?

Well, cats smell, um, you know, so I can't be the crazy cat lady . So, um, they're actually a very mistreated, um, pet in the pet industry. Um, A lot of people don't do their research. And then the coolest thing is, is when we got our new director, she was like my biggest fan. She bought a ton of books for our center to do with our education team and that was like that new marriage.

I was like, oh wow, this is what supports, like this is crazy, you know? So, um, thankfully we got some really good admin now and, uh, director, deputy directors in place and they all get in training for the, the old ones. And um, so it really helped me revitalize my. Um, for just dispatch in general. I do videos, uh, it's called Did You Know, Friday Videos.

So they focus and that goes on our Cobb County 9 1 1 page. It focuses on those calls that, that start out with, this is not really an emergency. Those topics, that's what I do videos on, like , you know, don't call nine one asking why traffic is backed up. Well, welcome to Cobb County. That's how it's, yeah. You know, um, just, just stupid stuff like my, my powers out.

I mean, did you pay your bill? You know, it's, it's stuff like that. So we do videos on if the lights are out, it's this, if they're flashing, it's d o t. Um, just little things that we've done and I love the education piece, so that is why it kind of fit. I pulled in heavily on the education piece in dispatching and, um, pulled in my reptile love.

And then here we are, we're still educating on reptiles and still educating on 9 1 1 to kids and to our elderly and just the community in general. Um, and just chucking. Yeah, so that is super important and that's, I think that's a great point and that's an awesome thing that I haven't really heard anybody doing before is making these videos because they are common questions that people you would think may know the answers to, but there are some who don't.

And then our call centers are already overwhelmed with calls and generally understaffed. That's just seems how it goes. But I think the videos are important if people take the, take the time to watch 'em. Uh, right. I mean, there would, we'd have like a. Pretty good reduction in calls, I think if people would watch them.

Yeah. Educate themselves right to things. Yeah. You have new homeowners that don't know when to change their batteries, you know, in their strike detectors or why they're going off and, you know, lots, lots of little things that you think people would be educated about, but unfortunately, and, and we cover a wide va, we, we explain to.

You know, we can help you have your child. Like if you're in labor, listen to us. We can walk you through how to do this. We can teach you. I've done CPR with a nine year old. You know, I've walked a nine year old through cpr, but a lot of people don't know that we do that. Yeah. You know, they don't understand why we're asking all those questions.

So those videos are really kind of like, cause we are, um, we have all three protocols in our center, so we do ask a lot of questions, but. The purpose behind it was to hope that they understand, you know, one, when not to call us two. Um, why we ask all those questions, what we're actually capable of doing over the phone.

You know, I know what to do with your seizure, your child having a seizure. I know what to do. You know, just, you just gotta listen to me. Yeah. Um, but a lot of people don't realize that cuz they've never called 9 1 1. It's not like, well, I mean we do have those, some that love to call 9 1 1 for nothing, but the majority of 'em, they just don't.

They don't know until it's time. Yeah. So, and the information that you're gathering is, so please fire ems. Those who are responding to those calls that are coming into 9 1 1 have the most accurate information possible because if we don't get it from you, then. Don't really can't build like a, a vision in our head of maybe what to be prepared for.

And that's why you're asking all those great questions is so to paint that picture for the, you know, the responding minutes. And we dispatch for animal control too. So Yeah. Explaining to them why we're not coming out to a whole herd of cats. Yeah. Or you know, I understand there's a snake in your driveway, but that's his yard too, you know?

Um, Why, when, when snapping turtle, egg laying season comes, it is ridiculous how many calls we get. You know, and they, there's, they swear at somebody's pet. And I literally had to write up something for my coworkers. This is what you read to 'em. And, and if they don't get it at this point, just send 'em to dnr and DNR is gonna tell 'em the same thing.

Yeah. Um, so, um, it's, it's, it's quite hilarious. So we do rope in with them. We have a Turkey video coming out for Thanksgiving cuz we do have an elusive male Turkey that comes out this time every year. And we will get at least 75 calls over this. About this stupid Turkey. Cause he is fearless. He will walk alongside the road and I tell people, they're like, he's gonna get hit.

I was like, ma, he hasn't been hit in five years. Yeah. You know, in the back of my head, I'm thinking if he gets hit, end of that call season. But, um, but I'm hoping that the videos as they get more traction, um, that people start understanding, oh, okay, wait, I remember seeing her video. We don't call her for the lights being out, or my power being out.

How about you call Greystone or Georgia Power or whatever power company you have? Yeah, yeah. Instead of dialing 9 1 1. Yeah. Jumping back into your book, like, have you ever written a book. No . No. Um, and, and, and it's funny cause I, I was raised in Germany, so my family being German, I learned German and English side by side.

So all through, through, when I came to American schools, I struggled. I struggled with like sentence structure, how many sentences are supposed to be in a paragraph and how many paragraphs and blah, blah, blah. Yeah. I was like, Yeah. No. And now my, my, uh, deputy director's like, you're gonna get it trained. And I'm like, Nope.

I saw what's gotta be written. There's absolutely no way I will ever pass. That will be a waste of your money. I will stick to kids books, . Um, and they're like, oh no, you've got so much knowledge. Great. I say it, you write it. How about that? Yeah. Um, but it's just been a, it's one of my struggle. I mean, I can, I can write obviously.

Yeah. But like when you're talking about writing out class programs and absolutely not. Sure. I know my, I know my limits, but no, I've never written one. I just kind of, um, we wrote down all the examples that we wanted to put in this book and trust me there's enough for two more. Um, and then kind of roping in, like, how do we avoid this, you know?

We come to your school, we teach you, mom needs to work with you or dad, whoever your guardian is on learning your address, learning your phone. Uh, also in the next one we wanna talk about, we're gonna rope in. If you're at a friend's house and you don't know your address, you know, finding a piece of mail, going out and looking at the mailbox, we're gonna rope that in on the next one.

So that's awesome. That's, yeah. Cause a lot of kids should turn this into a little video series itself, , right? I know. Little animation. I know, I know. It's, it's hard enough to find people just to draw, you know, they wanna charge you a arm to leg. I'm like, gosh, I missed my calling. I shoulda drawn cartoons like they're making a killing on this junk.

So, yeah, I gotta, I got a new illustrator now though, so I'm, I'm excited about having him. Yeah. Why do you think reptiles are so mistreated? Um, Lack of knowledge. Um, unfortunately our pet stores, um, so here in Georgia, we have, like Petco Pet Smart. They have a lot of products that are not good for the reptiles.

Um, they're the cheapest cruddiest thing in there. But because parents go in, they trust the store to be selling quality stuff, they don't realize, just because it's a snake doesn't mean that it's gonna be. Kept the same way a different snake is, you know? Mm-hmm. , they in, in their kits. It's kinda like all looped together.

This is a snake starter kit. Um, and for that I have, uh, Stevie Wonder, who is my blind Brazilian Rainbow boa. Um, they need a lot of humidity and because they kept him dry, he lost sight in both of his eyes. Um, they shed their skin mm-hmm.  and if they don't shed their skin to get stuck. And, um, it eventually just choked out as eyesight.

So, uh, we just started getting surrenders and every surrender had something wrong with it. I mean, just, yeah. Something that could have been avoided, you know? Um, people are getting a boy Leopard gecko and girl leopard gco. Oh, let's put 'em together. Well, what are you gonna do with all the. You know, um, they're gonna have babies.

They can have up to 14 eggs in a season, you know? Yeah. Um, and, but then the exotic pet stores don't help in any because they're buying it from these kids, you know? And I'm like, this is, this is crazy. Just cause you have a boy and a girl doesn't mean you need to make babies. Yeah. You know, that's a whole different book.

Right. So it's uh, and they're gonna go a lot wrong. I mean, some reptiles are like very, um, aggressive in during that, that mat part. Um, they actually, actually eat each other, uh, at ho knows. They can eat each other. The male will, female will eat the male. But if you don't know that and you're like, oh, I've got a girl snake.

And a boy snake. Less. Snake snake. Yeah. Um, so I think it's just. I think our big box stores need to step up their game. Um, in advertising. I do work with our local and they've been really open, you know, for me to come in there and educate. They have good products. It's just, you gotta know what to put together for the proper animal.

Yeah, that makes sense. Um, and then the, the. Back in the day, I mean, I can even remember it. We would go catch grasshoppers or lizards or little pardon snakes and we'd stick it in a flipping mason jar. Yeah. You know, I never thought nothing of it that he needed to stretch out or he needed water or, you know, I just thought of that.

Nobody told me. And um, so now people are like, here, I've got a 10 gallon. I was like, there's nothing in the reptile world that belongs in a 10 gallon, barely even a 20 gallon. That's a fish tank. If it has a fish on the side of the sticker, it's meant for fish, not reptiles. And then the lack of proper lighting.

You know, when they're outside they have that UV lighting and that helps with the, you know, the, their bones and staying healthy. We have to provide that for them if you're gonna keep them inside. And that is a very pricey bulb. Um, so it's just a lack of education and it's out there. YouTube is covered.

Covered in it. Sure. You know, my, my TikTok pages, we go live all the time on TikTok and talk about my various, we have over 200 reptiles. Um, so all different types from tortoises to snakes to different AANAs, um, and we just take a species and we talk about it. Um, and then just hope I make some people mad and I'm okay with that.

Um, we just have a big band cap in here in Georgia. With, uh, some big animals and, uh, I'm not mad about it. Yeah, I mean, I think, I don't think people need to own 26 foot snakes, right. Um, I don't think the average Joe needs that. And if you're gonna keep something big like a Niana or a TEU or a Burmese Python, just like our dogs, I'm an advocate for them being shipped.

So if it, if it's found outside, you get charged. If you don't report that, it's missing. Oh, so it makes a lot of enemies. Cause not everybody feels that way. Breeders hate me. . So, yeah, I, I mean there's this sense you have to have when you're owning any animal, right? There's a sense of responsibility to, to take care of that animal and, you know, do do the right things, things for it, which is, Including studying and being knowledgeable about the animal you choose.

That's why I don't have any animals, because I don't have time. Right. That's another big thing. They take time a lot of time. And I tell kids when we're, uh, doing our shows, I say, you know, a lot of them are like from six to 10. I said, you realize if you get a tortoise, you're gonna be with that tortoise longer than any boyfriend, girlfriend, wife, husband,

It's gonna outlive you. You know? And they're like, really? And then the snake, if you get a. You're gonna have to find a boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife that's gonna like snakes. Cause guess what? It's gonna be here for your kids to be. Yeah. They can live up to And it puts perspective and the

parents'. So I, you like snakes cuz you're gonna be feeding it while, uh, your, your kid is at school. So those are some good, those are some good points. I mean, they're not like, Your average cat or dog, they just don't live that. Right. And they don't, you know, I tell them because we get so many that are like emaciated and mm-hmm.

um, I tell them, I say, well, what does your dog do when it's hungry? And they're like, it, it annoys me and wines. I said, right, and what does the cat do? It meows. I said, okay. What does a lizard do? Hey, everyone, have you lost that loving feeling because life has you so stressed out and you're just being moms and dads now and just running around like crazy.

And the passion in your relationship is gone, and you don't make it a priority anymore. Well, let me help you with that. I offer a free 15 minute discovery call that you can book on during the badge website, or you can just reach out to me on anyone social media platforms, and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

And they just kind of look at me. I'm like, exactly. So when you forget to feed your lizard over and over and over, it starves in silence. And then before you know it with the lizards, uh, or just reptiles in general. By the time you see that they're sick, a lot of times it's too late. Uh, they hide their sickness very, very well, and then all of a sudden you come home and your, your reptiles dead.

So yeah. Do reptiles make good therapy animals or reptiles? I shouldn't. Not . I think, yes. I mean, I know a lot of people that it's, it's, you know, Some people can't have dogs or cats, right? Cause of the fur. Um, I have my, I've, I've had some tough calls here recently and we had two officers that, that died on, on, uh, and, you know, serving, uh, papers and, uh, Coming home after all that.

I just call it noise in my head. Right? It's just noise at some point just coming home, they're not barking, they're not meowing. They're looking, they're almost eager. You know, my, some of my iguanas, they, they, you could tell they enjoy just being rubbed on and giving their treats, you know? Um, a lot of people are like, oh, it's cuz you're feeding.

I'm like, no, this is after they've been fed. I have nothing else to offer them. Yeah. It is that you do bond with your reptiles. Now, not all reptiles are handleable, are not, A lot of them are for looks only. Um, but there's a lot of them. Tangos, um, certain iguanas, bearded dragons, leopard geckos. It's just.

It's something different. I think it just puts you not as the norm. Um, people look at me and they're like, you got what? I was like, I do. And they don't expect it, you know? Um, I remember when my police chief first met me face to face. He was, it was at event, uh, the national night out and I saw him cuz I was doing a, around the events and I saw him hold my Burmese pipeline.

So I walk up, cause I say good morning to all my units every day. Um, doesn't matter how many units I have in, I say good morning. Yeah. And he actually as his first active police chief, um, he sent an email thanking me to my boss. He said, I know it can get her in trouble cuz we're not supposed to say it, but I do write me up for courtesy.

I'm fine with that. Yeah. Um, so I walked up to him, he'd never seen me before and I have this big old green of Quana on my, on my shoulder and him and his wife are holding the Burmese Python. So I just kinda looked over. So now that you've held my snake, do I still have to say good morning to you in the.

And he looked over like my voice was registering, but here is a six foot tall woman with aana, and he's like there. And then the picture that they took of us was actually laughing when he realized it was me. Um, but it's, I'm known as that, that reptile dispatcher. Mm-hmm. , you know, when we do events and I'm not there with 9 1 1, the kids are like, where's that lizard lady?

And I'm like, how to work? You know, I can't just play with my, my lizards all the time. So, but I enjoy it. It's, um, it's different. I, I, I, I've always been different anyway, so it doesn't, I was always a new kid. I was a military brat. My mom's German, so we lived over there and then we moved here when I was like 16.

And I'm like, this is awkward. This, you know, I come here after Germany, Sure. Georgia's kind of like 20 years behind the rest of the world. . Yeah. And now this accent took over my face and I was, I was like, people are like, you're not from here. I'm like, no, this is deceiving. Yeah. I'm sorry. This is what Georgia does to you,

So, um, but yeah, I, even my officers, I have, you know, we. Thousands of officers in our, in our county and, um, deputies and sheriffs, they all come, they're like, I'm not touching them. I could not tell you how many pictures. I have them now walking around with a snake, educating the kids at our events, you know, and just kind of just flipping around.

A lot of people when they watch me on TikTok and I, we talk and they see my ease. You know, I'm not tense, I'm. Trying to put my reptiles in a position where they, they're threatened. Um, I've been bitten many a times and they see that I just stay calm, you know? Um, it's just a matter of learning how to handle it.

You know? People are like, can they bite? Well, yeah, you could bite me too if you wanted to. You've got a, um, but if you know what you're doing and you're treating 'em right, and they're healthy and they're happy, The less chance of you being bitten. So, so you think there's just a big lack of education, what reptiles are maybe more prone to buy it than other reptiles?

Yeah, I mean from the, that, um, to the size, you know, a lot of time they go to a show and it's like this big and they have it in a 10 20 gallon tank on the table, not realizing you can just do a quick walk away from the table, Google what that thing. , figure out how much that animal is gonna cost you. Cause like myu Gus have outdoor summer enclosures of, them's actually permanently outside.

Cause has a heated shed that he, uh, goes in for the, and I, I dunno if you hear that. She's, shes me in here. She's so. Can you hear that? Yeah. . Yeah. She's literally, anyway, um, they have such personalities, but they, you know, just do, do a quick walk away from the table. Google what? It's Google. Is this something that you wanna handle?

Is this something that you're gonna be looking at? Is it gonna be a, is it gonna down? What do you need to do to down is a quick Google. You know, um, and people are like, what are the great first starter? You know, this snake or a lizard? Um, that is such a loaded question. How much room do you have to devote to that?

Do you need just a 20 gallon or can you give a whole six by six enclosure? Um, do you want something that you can hold or do you wanna, you know, a awesome centerpiece that you, you know, just tend to, it all depends on what you're wanting outta your reptile. It's kind of like a dog. Do you want a lazy, you know, smaller, easily managed dog?

Or do you wanna, you know, Bernard, or in my case, I have three great Danes, I got many horses. Those things are, or do you just want a little teeny little thing that you can put in your purse? Yeah. Um, same question comes into play with lizards. So rep in general, you know, tortoises. Um, the big thing that went, uh, crazy on my Instagram, my hundred pound tortoise burnt his house.

To the ground, not nothing left, but the, the, um, corrugated metal and, uh, they're like, oh my gosh. You know what this is? You gotta understand that little turtle tortoise that you, this big becomes tank Yeah. Is not gonna be able to stay in your house. They can rearrange furniture, they can burn stuff down.

Um, but you have to, you have to think about, And the local pet store commented on it and said, well, um, it takes forever. Before they're the size, no, I mean 10, 15 years and they're over 50 pounds. Um, but again, that's the mindset of the pet store. So what are they supposed to do when they get that size? Just jump them outside, right?

And be done with it because it's not an immediate problem. You know, and I was like, well thank you for proving why I do this. You know, you have that pet store mind. I'm sorry I'm taking sales away from you telling people not to buy these cute little tortoises when reality this is the damage it could do.

So, yeah, cuz who's got who? Who takes them in when they get to be too big? There's of sports compounds. I dunno. People that take in reptil. Yeah, I mean there's, there's, so here, um, in Georgia we have three. Um, but like you're only limited to how many you can hold, right? So I only have the size of my house and now my, a lot of my to stay outside, they have heated sheds and all that, so they're outside year round.

Um, but for instance, that one that burnt his house down, I can't keep him with the other big ones cause he is mean, he is destructive. He's horrible. So now he. An entire space to himself that could be devoted to six tortoises that do like each other, you know? Um, but it's not his fault. He's, I mean, I guess it is his fault.

He's a jerk, but he's a jerk. Um, and then there's two other, um, rescues here. Um, one that actually helped me get started and then one that she. She spawned off of them and started her own. So it's, it's, but it's hard finding good foster homes even. Sure. Because they do need a lot more, um, care with the uvb and if they're greens eater versus a meat eater versus they need the proper heats.

Are they safe in that house? Do they have a cat that's gonna try to. It's just hard finding, just quality foster and then honestly, yeah. A lot of the foster families that approach me, or even volunteers and I look at 'em, was like, I, I gotta, I, I don't even know how to say this nicely. I need you to look respectable if you're gonna go with me to an event, right?

Yeah. Yeah. So, no, no booty shorts, and. Craziness. You know? Yeah. I don't need you to wear satanic shirts and stuff. There's, we're not all crazy that own reptiles, we're not all satanic loving, you know, sternum piercing. I, I don't even know. Yeah. Um, but I tell him, I was like, you, you're gonna have to dress normal.

If you come to my events, I mean, I'm still linked to 9 1 1. I have to be presentable, you know, and we don't need everybody thinking that, just cuz we have lizards that wear awkward or weird or gothic or whatever. There's a love for reptiles across the board out there. Yeah. So, yeah. On your social, on your social media stuff, do you talk about each like type of reptile and like, Hey, this.

Kind of maybe some history behind it and what you need to have, have one of you. So, yep. So we, um, I'm horrible at making video cause I'm busy with making videos for my work. Um, I'm hor they want me to make YouTube videos and I'm trying. I just, it's a lot, it's a lot of work. It's a lot. Yeah. It's, it's honestly just easier for me to go live on TikTok and like, okay, this is what we're doing today.

We're feeding tortoises and we talk about the tortoises, and I actually got banned on TikTok last time while feeding my tortoises. Apparently it's hateful behavior, feeding tortoises, whatever. Oh, . Um, yeah, I, yeah, it's. Tick's weird. Um, so it's a lot of times it's just easier for me to go live, whether it be on Instagram or TikTok or Facebook and talk while we go.

Um, I just got a GoPro, so I think I'm just gonna do something similar, just not being live, you know, just videoing it on a GoPro and then uploading it that way just to unedited raw, you know, this is what we're doing today. So when you're, cause oh, Now go ahead. As when you're live on these different social media platforms, people have opportunity to ask you questions and are you able to answer 'em while you're doing that?

Yes, yes. So on TikTok, we, I have a lot of good moderators. They, I think they know more about me than I know more about, than I know about myself. Um, for instance, my whole house is on timers. Um, so, and I, I push those timers. I have affiliate codes on Amazon and, um, I was like, you know, it makes your life easier.

You don't have to worry about remembering to turn your light on. If you're leaving before the lights come on, it's fine. It'll be coming on. But anyway, so my lights sometimes go out while I'm, while I'm live. Yeah. And they're like, oh my gosh, she didn't pay her electric bills with this one said, and they're like, no, her whole house is on, on timers.

And I'd show 'em like, look, the kitchen light's still on, but thanks. Yeah. You know? Um, but yeah, they can ask questions. I have really good moderators where, I tell them no question is a stupid question unless it's some comment like, only a good snake is a dead snake. That type of stuff. Yeah. Yeah. Um, I tell them not to ban people like that.

Um, a lot of times it's just that a not knowing. Yeah. We never see reptiles in movies in a good light. I mean, look at snakes on a plane. Yeah. Um, And it's just, if we continue to block them, they're not gonna be able to answer, have their questions answered, they're gonna continue to hate 'em. Um, so it's not just teaching people the proper care of these reptiles, but also introducing.

Like rechanging, their whole thought process on snakes, on tortoises, on lizards in general. So that kind, A lot of people have a genuine fear. Yeah. Yeah. Especially snakes. Um, I, I've met two other scared to tortoises, um, but. I've, uh, worked with a counselor one time. The, this woman, I mean, was literally physically shaking and after 45 minutes she was holding my snake.

So I've never met anybody that I couldn't turn. Yeah. Um, it's, it's really cool to see them get a new appreciation, um, for reptiles. And I tell kids, like, you know, while my, my snakes are cool here. If you go outside, since you don't know what, what's venomous and what's not, you just look with your eyes and leave it alone.

Um, because that's, I don't want them thinking cuz they held my boa, they can go and pick up whatever. I mean, we've got three rattles different types of rattlesnakes in Georgia, so, Yeah. Yeah, I could see that Therea. Where, so in your book, where do you sell your, your book that talks about, it's on Amazon.

Amazon. If you just type in, can I call 9 1 1 now? Um, it's on there. Um, and all the proceeds go back to our rescue. Um, so we got our 5 0 1 C three nonprofit. This. So I was kind of excited about that. And we just got our inspection by Department of Agriculture last week. Um, so if all falls into place, we are going to be the official reptile rescue for Cobb County Animal Services, which I'm really excited about that.

And then we are gonna work together to kind of reach out to the counties around us. Cause after some research and working with the new director over there, they don't do anything for reptiles. Um, Kind of, and, and I think that's part of the problem. They're like, they have nobody to reach out to when they need to find a home or they're getting evicted or whatever.

Yeah. And so they just chunk it. Yeah. You know, day after Christmas last year, uh, Hank, who's now here with us, 25 pound tortoise was found walking around some lady's front yard day after Christmas. I mean, I know I'm in Georgia, but it's still called an African tortoise. Um, so yeah, so I'm, I want to at least be able, I can't reach the whole world obviously, but I wanna try to get the counties around here to where people do have an outlet, um, because between me and this other, uh, rescue.

I think we can at least take care of our area. Yeah. So are you on Amazon's smile where people could support you through some of their purchases? Not yet. I haven't fixed, you know, somebody else said that to me too. No. Um, we do have, um, So if they wanna donate to it, we do have a link on our Facebook page, uh, where they can go on Amazon and actually order items that we use all the time.

Um, and then, uh, also links if they just wanna donate to, um, like, you know, cash App Memo, sell all that junk. And then if, if they need, um, if they do itemize their taxes, we can definitely send them a letter, you know, so that they can write it off in their taxes. So, um, we do parties, we do educational shows with covid.

We did a lot of virtual reptile parties, which was weird. I got pooped on than once, and it was a hoot for the kids. Um, so we, we just go out there where we can, you know, yeah. Where my, my goal is to get one of those old bread trucks and do like a walkthrough Oh, cool. Exhibit. Yeah. So that even in the winter months, we can go to these community festivals and stuff and just park the truck and have it heated and have kids be able to come in and, and experience it.

So that is my ultimate goal, but, $10,000 just for an empty truck now was like, oh yeah, I'm gonna have to really pimp out my husband for that one. I dunno what I'm gonna do.

Theresa, where can people follow you on social media? Uh, we're everywhere. Um, the biggest one is TikTok. I post on Facebook, Instagram, um, we're on YouTube. And then our website is scaly addictions.com and our email is scaly addictions um gmail.com. So everything is scaly addictions. There's the e and I had to be different.

Um, So everything's scaly addictions across the board. I try to keep it simple, not trying to change different names for different platforms. So we are scaly addictions across the board. And then if, if people want to reach out to you with questions, are they able to do that through your, through different social media?

Oh yeah. Oh yeah. I field questions all the time, so just know that if I'm at work, 9 1 1 first . Yeah. So it'll be after six. Or all my days off, but I'm usually pretty quick, um, to it. It's within that same day that you'll get an answer. That's awesome. So as we're approaching into Christmas, you know, you might want to, I don't wanna like overburden Theresa, but before you pick maybe a reptile to give one of your children for Christmas, you may want to reach out to Theresa and maybe get some feedback about maybe what would be the right look.

Rescues and it's kinda like a shelter. Look at rescues. I currently. Five Beer to Dragons. Uh, we were at eight. We, we adopted three out in the past two weeks, um, in leopard deck of galore. It's, it's is ridiculous how many people just leave their stuff, but, um, reach out to a rescue. And, and see what they have before you go out and just go to a reptile show and buy the, the reptile shows have a lot of importers, um, and it's literally coming off of a plane.

The box is being opened and they're putting it on. Um, and wild cop animals are probably 70% not healthy. Um, and if you have other reptiles, you, you stand the, the chance of bringing in parasites or something that's deadly into your home that can kill your other healthy reptiles. So yeah, definitely reach out to me.

Um, if I can't find a rescue, I mean, we ship reptiles too. I mean, I, I don't prefer it, but it happens. Sure. Um, because bearded dragons, I have adults. It's different if it was a little baby that fits in the little, you know, overnight, but mine. So, um, but yeah, if you have any questions, by all means out to me, don't mind answer.

Yeah, and that's kind nice a you probably will find some in various stages of their, their life and sizes that may better fit. Yep. Absolutely. And then you can also, you know, just give some animal that's had a crappy start. I have one. His name is Spider-Man, to fill a surrender form and the beer to put lettuce, strawberries, and crickets.

And that's all he's been fed. Lettuce and strawberries are a no for bearded dragons and crickets are pretty much of the bugs, trash food. Um, so I, I get there, he's a mad bearded dragon and he's stunted completely. His growth is stunted. He's about a third of the size he should be. Um, and the little kid, he's like, he's so mean.

And I looked down, I was like, well, what did you do? And he is like, well, I just do this. And poking at him, I was like, well, there you go. Now I've gotta undo all that. So this poor beauty is stuck with me until I can get him loving life again. Yeah. Um, but you know, there's people out there that are willing to, they have a heart for those that are kind of tossed to the side.

Yeah. So, Yeah. Therea, thank you so much for what you do. Um, thank you. I think, and filling in a need that's in, in the world. You know, there's not, I don't like, you don't hear of a lot of reptile rescues and I know this takes a lot of time, money, and energy on your own to do that. And as we're all trying to hopefully make the world a better place, that just includes the animals that inhabit our earth.

Thank you so much. Yeah, thank you. And uh, like I said, please consult Theresa before you, you know, purchase something for your children or yourself, you know, especially around the holidays, because we don't want 'em all dumped just after the holidays when you can't take care of 'em. Thanks again for being on Theresa.

Thanks. Thank you for listening, and please remember to reach out to me if you're struggling with your mindset, your marriage, or any aspects of mental health. I'm here to help you. Thanks again for listening. Don't forget to rate and review the show wherever you access your podcast. If you know someone that would be great on the show, please get a hold of our host, Jerry Dean L through the Instagram handles at Jerry Bar and Fuel, or at Enduring The Badge Podcast.

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