A Better Life for Exotic Pets

Written by Alex Murray

Welcome to the re-launch of the Jelly Exotics blog – you get to be a part of something exciting!

I’ve been meaning to do this for quite some time, but as always, life gets in the way and our blog has taken a back seat. NOT ANYMORE! I am now surrounded by an even bigger team of enthusiastic, excited volunteers who want to get this ball rolling as much as I do – so get ready to explore some interesting, challenging (and sometimes controversial) topics and more importantly; get ready to make the lives of exotic pets better.

Don’t forget to hit the follow button at the bottom of the post, to get email updates of our latest blog releases. For more information about our organisation, keep reading…

The Past…

For those of you who don’t know, Jelly Exotics was started by myself in February 2019, as an Instagram and Facebook page. As I started getting more and more exotic pets, some of my friends list would complain when I shared pictures of them, so this was a way I could share them to an audience that appreciated them. The online blog was launched in March.

It wasn’t until August 2019, that I got in touch with a local rescue – Rainbow Rescue – in Telford about fostering exotic species on their behalf. Together, throughout the rest of 2019, we took in 23 animals, and only Clementine remains from those still waiting to be rehomed…

The first rescue animal brought in.
Our first permanent resident rescue.
Still awaiting her forever home.
Our second permanent resident.

I always wanted to start my own rescue and rehoming service, but I wanted to make sure I did it right! Too many people try to start a rescue and ultimately end up shutting doors due to lack of funds, or lack of support. So I did my research, and gained the support of other rescues, pet shops, an exotic veterinary specialist and the public. My social media platforms were already reasonably popular, and we had been in touch with the council about the way we operate and whether we required a license – to clarify, we do not need a license to run as we did, and continue to run for the moment.

The Present…

In January 2020, I launched Jelly Exotics as a charity – more than just a rescue, but an organisation working towards “A Better Life for Exotic Pets”. We are a charitable organisation registered with HMRC. We are fully insured for the rescue and rehoming of exotic species, for working with the public and hiring volunteers. We run a successful pet sitting service, aiming to support owners with exotic pets, as well as ensure they get the right care when leaving them behind. We are on-hand anytime to offer advice, guidance and support to keepers or facilities that need it. 

The rescue, this year so far, has taken in 31 animals. We have also assisted in the rehoming of over 50 additional animals. We have donated equipment, food and time to other facilities, as well as individual keepers who have fallen on hard times. We have brought in over £5,000 in donations over the course of 9 months and spent over £2,000 on vet fees, over £1,000 on supplies and almost £500 on fuel. The remainder of funds are spent on insurance, marketing and other background work.

We accept freely given donations, and can claim gift aid on these, however most of our income is brought in by the hard work of our trustees and volunteers, as well as fundraising efforts and sales of second-hand, refurbished equipment.

I have raised over £400 so far, through pet sitting.
Carol has raised over £200 so far, selling handmade crafts.
Jess has raised over £200 selling handmade masks.
Kitty has raised £35 so far selling snake skin keyrings.

We also have digital sponsors who helped kick start our website…

Mantis Den
Powys Pythons
Snoozy Pet
Shropshire Embroidery Services

The Future…

We have so much planned for our future! 

  • We will be registering as either a Charity or a CIO (Charitable Incorporated Organisation) soon!
  • We will be obtaining a license to exhibit animals within the public.
  • We will soon be launching a sponsorship program, where you can sponsor our permanent residents.

And even more! So make sure to follow our blog for more updates…

My Next Chapter…

I’ve come along way since my first Instagram post in February. I never would have thought I’d get to where I am now, and Jelly Exotics just keeps getting better and better (at least I think so!).

I admit, I’ve been a bit slack with writing actual blog posts, but I have had my hands full since taking on the rescue side of things. I have some pretty fantastic plans for my future; and when I say plans, I mean ideations… I never was very good at planning!

As you may or may not know, I have been rescuing exotic species on behalf of Rainbow Rescue in Telford, effectively working as a volunteer and leading the exotic rescue, rehabilitation and rehoming efforts. Rainbow Rescue have been fully supportive of me doing this, offering advice, funds and guidance.

I now want to take this a step further, and stand on my own two feet. This will then allow me to make more executive decisions, push my brand name even further and hopefully bring in volunteers, foster homes and other exciting new programs.

This doesn’t come without it’s limitations. It’s a rather long, difficult and expensive process to become a legitimate rescue. I am in talks with the local council to arrange for the correct licensing; I need a strong insurance policy, covering animal displays, volunteers and rescue/rehoming animals; I will need to upgrade and fully populate my website as well as work towards building quality content, a dedicated team of volunteers and more!

Fortunately, I’m not going to be giving up on this and I have so much support from friends, family, followers and local businesses.

I’m so excited to see where I’ll be in another 12 months time, hopefully you’ll be able to read an equally positive blog post in the future.