Ensuring Humane Treatment for Reptiles


HAP is working to ban the private ownership of alligators, crocodiles, and red-eared slider turtles within city limits, allowing their ownership only by experienced and properly-accredited institutions.



Over the past several years, Pittsburgh Police and Animal Care and Control have had to deal with dozens of situations involving dangerous reptiles let loose by owners who choose to abandon these animals. At best, the reptiles end up in our local shelters who are ill-equipped to handle these species. At worst, they freeze or starve to death.

Additionally, for those who do choose to keep them, under current Pittsburgh law, the animals must be kept in a locked container, typically too small and devoid of everything natural to them.


The Facts

Alligators and crocodiles belong in the wild. Even in captivity, they belong in spacious facilities that can meet all their temperature, UV, dietary, and medical needs. These animals are dangerous and cannot be cared for by the average individual.

Red-eared slider turtles also do not make good pets. They are an invasive species and when released into the wild, compete with native species for habitat, food resources, nest sites, etc. Further, these turtles can carry salmonella bacteria, which easily transmits to humans, causing fever, diarrhea, and possibly life-threatening complications.


What is HAP Doing About It?

HAP is asking Pittsburgh City Council to replace a well-intentioned but inhumane and dangerous reptile ordinance passed in 2019 with the safer and more humane one proposed by Humane Action Pittsburgh in partnership with Humane Animal Rescue of Pittsburgh. HAP’s ordinance would ban ownership of these dangerous animals, except by properly accredited institutions.


How You Can Help

If you live in the City of Pittsburgh, please call your City Councilperson asking them to vote YES on Bruce Kraus’s reptile ban. You can also share on social media to help fellow Pittsburghers learn about the new law, and the dangers and inhumanity of keeping these animals as pets. Further, donations to HAP will go in part to educate law enforcement officials, the community, and sellers of these animals about the new law.