The primary purpose of the Pacific Northwest Herpetological Society is to educate our members and the general public about the husbandry of reptiles, amphibians and chelonians, to take an active role in the preservation and conservation of herpetofauna, as well as connect fellow reptile enthusiasts with each other to share information, wisdom, and ideas. PNWHS fosters this community in the following ways.
PNWHS has become a leader in providing educational programs about herpetology and conservation to the community. One of the ways we pursue this goal is through our outreach program. We are very proud of the many events we have participated in that allow people to learn about and interact with reptiles & amphibians. Our outreach presentations at schools and community events include live animals and other educational materials. PNWHS is a non-profit organization and all our outreach participants are volunteers. Donations are not required, but greatly appreciated.
Our members have a wide range of animals from amphibians, iguanas, monitor lizards, geckos & bearded dragons to tortoises, turtles and many different species of snakes, including large pythons & boas. But the type of species and number of animals that come to any particular outreach depends on the availability of their owners. All of our PNWHS outreach participants have passed the Washington State Patrol’s WATCH background check.
We are happy to help educate people about reptiles & amphibians, but these animals are our pets. They are not borrowed from a zoo or pet store. Many of them have been rescued from uncaring and/or abusive former owners and have been through a lengthy recuperation. The animals need to be respected. During the time allotted for petting, we ask that the animals be approached calmly and quietly. Please ask before touching any animals and do so gently. One person’s irresponsible action can have a negative impact on all people present and can cause injury. While none of the animals we bring are aggressive or venomous, if they are treated in a disrespectful manner, accidents can happen.
Our usual format includes each participating PNWHS member addressing the class or group with information about each animal, including geographical area of origin, physical characteristics and eating habits. Following the presentations, time is allowed for questions and for the audience (if they wish) to touch the animals. This format may be altered if desired. We do not loan out our animals for any reason. PNWHS also brings our own hand sanitizer, and require its use both before and after touching one of our animals, in accordance with CDC guidelines.
PNWHS outreaches offer a rare opportunity for people, especially children, to come face-to-face with reptiles and amphibians that share the global environment with us.
If you are interested in requesting an Outreach at your event, please use our Outreach Request form.
The PNWHS monthly meeting is open to anyone member or not. Our meetings are held once a month during the school year on the second Sunday and usually have the format of a little club business, showing off animals that are available to adopt, and a guest speaker that presents a special topic of interest. For more information on our next upcoming meeting check out the Monthly Meeting page.