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​Who We Are...


GHAR is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to educating and providing forever homes for reptiles. Our organization offers experienced foster homes and veterinary care for reptiles in need.

Interested in adding a reptile to your family? There are a good number of healthy reptiles placed in our foster network just waiting for their forever homes. We also provide services if you should find an abandoned reptile. We predominately work in Atlanta and North Georgia.

All of our members have many years of reptile handling and education experience. Therefore, we also provide educational events for a fee for summer camps, schools, home schools, daycares, and birthday parties. The fees go directly to helping us care for sick and injured reptiles. Drop us a line at gharescue@gmail.com for a quote. 
 

Pet of the month: Bronson!
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Bronson: suspected male, 5 years old. Bronson eats very well and LOVES hunting his bugs. It is so fun to watch him demonstrate his skills! Bronson is a typical Leo in that he does not really like handling and is, therefore, more of an observation pet. However, he is super responsive to his foster mom and really enjoys interacting. Bronson would be happiest staying in the 20 gallon tank he LOVES with his foster mom and can come with him for an additional donation.

Pick up in Decatur

A bit about our Founders:

Kathy Smith came to the reptile community with an interest in bearded dragons and she most definitely is the mother of all lizards. Kathy has venomous handling training, experience with larger snakes and lizards, and has a passion for rescue. She worked for 10 years with reptile rescue all over the state of Georgia before forming GHAR, and has also been featured on The Weather Channel, "Critter Fixers: Country Vets," and Central Georgia CBS's "Tegu Taskforce." Kathy was also nominated for "Lizard Personality of the Year" in 2017 from The Reptile Report. Additionally, her animals have been featured on the FX show, "Atlanta" and she has worked as an exotic animal handler and wildlife handler for additional television series.   

Dr. Katie Bell is a teacher by day and a reptile handler by night. She has worked with Bear Hollow Zoo in Athens, Georgia, animal shelters throughout North Georgia, and with larger pet store chains, learning about the most up to date husbandry and working to ensure that reptiles kept as pets get the proper care. Not only does Katie have reptile experience, she also has had training with larger exotic animals and aquatics--she has a story about being bit by a bear and yet living to tell the tale. She has been featured on "Critter Fixers: Country Vets" and has done animal education for over 20 years with children. There isn't an animal on this earth that doesn't have Katie's admiration. 

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Kathy and Katie from this season's Critter Fixers: Country Vets!

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Please check the current state regulations on exotic animal tagging and registering here: https://georgiawildlife.com/Reptile-Tagging-FAQ

Kathy was interviewed about tegu on Atlanta News First/CBS

Rehome a pet:

Please note that we cannot take aquatic turtles.

  1. First, contact us to see if we can accommodate your pet. We CANNOT take your animal directly from a release form. You MUST reach out to us first.

  2. If we have an available foster home, we will then ask you to fill out a release form through https://www.shelterluv.com/matchme/owner-surrender/GAH/Exotic/Other. Please do not fill out a form until we have instructed you to do so. 

  3. We will reach out to you to coordinate a day, time and location for you to drop off your animal. Please be patient with us, as we are all volunteers.

  4. If you are able to, consider making a donation (through the Donate tab) to help with costs for your animal.

Events: come see us at these locations. Or, if you are an approved volunteer, click to RSVP and the event will appear on your profile.
  • Sat, Jul 27
    Marietta Union Hall
    Jul 27, 2024, 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
    Marietta Union Hall, 734 Roswell St NE, Marietta, GA 30060, USA
    Jul 27, 2024, 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
    Marietta Union Hall, 734 Roswell St NE, Marietta, GA 30060, USA
    We will have about 4 tables up to showcase our educational animals. Adoptions do not typically occur immediately at the show, but you can bring adoptable animals to get them some exposure.
  • Sun, Jul 28
    Marietta Union Hall
    Jul 28, 2024, 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
    Marietta Union Hall , 734 Roswell St NE, Marietta, GA 30060, USA
    Jul 28, 2024, 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
    Marietta Union Hall , 734 Roswell St NE, Marietta, GA 30060, USA
    We will have about 4 tables up to showcase our educational animals. Adoptions do not typically occur immediately at the show, but you can bring adoptable animals to get them some exposure.
  • Sat, Aug 03
    Lithia Springs
    Aug 03, 2024, 9:00 AM – 5:30 PM
    Lithia Springs, 1750 Mt Vernon Rd, Lithia Springs, GA 30122, USA
    Aug 03, 2024, 9:00 AM – 5:30 PM
    Lithia Springs, 1750 Mt Vernon Rd, Lithia Springs, GA 30122, USA
    This is Sweetwater's first year holding an event like this, and we will have a table for education animals. If you are a foster, please do not bring foster animals unless you clear it with Kathy first. This can be very stressful for fosters, and this event is more about high our educational animals.
  • Sun, Aug 18
    Canton
    Aug 18, 2024, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
    Canton, 725 Paint Horse Dr, Canton, GA 30115, USA
    Aug 18, 2024, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
    Canton, 725 Paint Horse Dr, Canton, GA 30115, USA
    We have done this event before and loved it. We are looking for volunteers to help Kathy load and unload her animals (in Rockmarlt) and help with the presentation.
  • Sat, Sep 14
    College Park
    Sep 14, 2024, 8:30 AM – 5:30 PM
    College Park, 2000 Convention Center Concourse, College Park, GA 30337, USA
    Sep 14, 2024, 8:30 AM – 5:30 PM
    College Park, 2000 Convention Center Concourse, College Park, GA 30337, USA
    This is a new event in Atlanta, and we have been asked to bring the "wow" factor. Kathy will be bringing her education animals. Please do not bring fosters or personal animals unless you speak to her first.
  • Sun, Sep 15
    College Park
    Sep 15, 2024, 8:30 AM – 5:30 PM
    College Park, 2000 Convention Center Concourse, College Park, GA 30337, USA
    Sep 15, 2024, 8:30 AM – 5:30 PM
    College Park, 2000 Convention Center Concourse, College Park, GA 30337, USA
    This is a new event in Atlanta, and we have been asked to bring the "wow" factor. Kathy will be bringing her education animals. Please do not bring fosters or personal animals unless you speak to her first.

When looking for a vet or supplier, consider these reputable businesses which also provide sponsorship to help our animals.
 

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