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Weird, wild collide at exotic animal rescue, pet shop in Sharpsburg

A businesswoman from O’Hara is on a mission to uncover new households for abandoned and surrendered unique animals.

Sara Smith owns Sara’s Pets and Vegetation, in Sharpsburg at 908 Most important St.

She tends to more than 100 animals at her store, all of them rescued or surrendered animals.

But Smith is turning absent animals that want aid simply because her shelter is whole.

“We’re all really overcome physically, mentally and financially and Sara’s Pets is no exception,” Smith claimed. “I do not have the area for them.”

Smith, 27, grew up surrounded by animals, plants and animals. She used innumerable hrs within community pet outlets.

“As a kid you could often discover me in the lawn, woods or yard interacting with crops and animals,” Smith explained.

Her shop houses myriad animals that features an alligator, spiders, snakes, reptiles, bunnies, bearded dragons and a really friendly rooster named Princess Peach.

Smith sells pet merchandise for cats and pet dogs, along with live and frozen food for exotic pets.

A graduate of Fox Chapel Place Large University, Smith acquired a bachelor’s degree in wildlife and fisheries science from Penn Condition College.

She initially opened Sara’s in Squirrel Hill in 2018 and relocated to Sharpsburg in 2020.

Working a person of the several unique pet rescues in the Pittsburgh area, Smith mentioned she wishes the general public would take into account all of the obligations and duties that come with pet ownership.

“There are so many pet homeowners who purchase a pet and really promptly realize that they are not geared up to get care of it. That puts lots of pets at hazard for abuse and/or neglect,” Smith claimed.

Acquire Mildred, a juvenile American alligator.

Mildred was saved by Smith immediately after she fielded a frantic contact from a mother of a 14-12 months-previous boy who seemingly had a mystery.

“He was hiding the alligator in his place for months, and she located it less than a pile of clothes,” Smith claimed.

Smith reported the teenager acquired the alligator from a reptile present with no his parents’ authorization.

Mildred will live at Sara’s right up until she is previous ample to be positioned in a authorized and appropriate facility.

For now, Mildred is made use of for instructional functions.

The metropolis of Pittsburgh placed a ban on owning alligators very last yr.

Stacy Hogan of O’Hara used to be concerned of snakes. But Large Marge, a 10-foot-extended crimson tailed boa that life at Sara’s, was instrumental in serving to Hogan get above her fear of snakes.

Hogan stated Big Marge was out of her cage when she to start with frequented Sara’s.

“Sara aided me to get me about my dread of that. I really like this location,” Hogan stated.

Hogan has given that adopted a hamster named Peanut. “He’s my small cherished, and we perform on the floor just about every day.”

Smith mentioned most of the animals below her care are tricky to position in new households. Factors involve the species needing specialised treatment and requiring an skilled operator.

Smith’s animal care resume features finding out wildlife conservation, biology and ecology in Tanzania and a stint as biologist in a rain forest biodome in Dubai.

Her animal stock consists of hamsters, finches, snakes, parakeets, bunnies, gerbils, rats, pigs, parrots, turtles, guinea pigs, cats and, of study course, Mildred.

Sara’s unofficial hen concierge is a spunky hen named Princess Peach, who loves to strut about the keep and go to with clients.

“She was receiving conquer up by the other chickens, and she likes human beings improved than chickens. She interacts with people and definitely enjoys the notice,” Smith reported.

Smith features educational classes to schools, individuals, teams, birthday get-togethers and fundraisers.

She formed a nonprofit to aid with the cost of keeping her menagerie of critters.

The least complicated unique animals to area in residences are bearded dragons and guinea pigs, Smith claimed.

“However, we are normally overcome by guinea pigs and bearded dragons simply because they are procured for youngsters as an ‘easy pet,’ ” Smith said. “The kids generally turn into uninterested, and the animals conclusion up currently being surrendered.”

Lemony Snickets, a 10-calendar year-outdated leopard gecko, was surrendered by her family members immediately after the kids grew up and misplaced fascination in her.

“She’s looking for somebody who will give her all the adore and interest for the relaxation of her days,” Smith reported.

Clients can guide individualized 30-moment “Petting Zoo Days” periods for $15 for every human being in which contributors interact, pet and discover about various animals.

Petting Zoo Times will be made available Monday-Thursday for the duration of April.

Appointment periods are scheduled from 2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Phone 724-826-8520 for specifics.

Joyce Hanz is a Tribune-Evaluation staff members writer. You can contact Joyce at 724-226-7725 , [email protected] or by using Twitter .