Kaitlyn Halbleib thoroughly enjoys learning about exotic animals, specifically reptiles. She brought home her first snake at seventeen years old, a king snake. He unfortunately wasn’t the healthiest snake, and she gave him the best home until it passed. This began her love for rescuing animals from near and far. Now, she estimates that there have been around fifty animals that have come to her and she has successfully taken in and made them her own.
A New Adventure
There are always some favorites though, one being her monitor lizard named, “Lowkii” that she has had from an adolescent stage. Once again, this became a “rescue” mission for her as the lizard wasn’t in the best shape coming from a local pet store. Through adopting this unique pet, Katie has learned how to keep and care for this advanced reptile. Lowkii, “…and I have always been on the same schedule. Monitor lizards are typically daytime hunters, but he conformed to my schedule, so no matter what job I had he would switch his schedule just so he could see me,” Katie said. The rescuing of these types of animals can be a lot of work, but, “it is relatively cheap, it only costs me thirty-nine dollars to feed everyone,” she said. Currently she has around forty to feed, but that may always grow in the blink of an eye.
Building A Family
As time went on, she has acquired other pets as well. This includes several cats and rats, along with her extensive reptile collection. Her interest surrounding breeding has increased over time, and she has learned a lot while researching various genes that snakes may carry. These unique genes can change everything about the animal at hand, so the possibilities are endless. Although breeding can be looked down on, “I never wanted to do it for the money,” Katie said, “It is more about the amazing process of reproduction and the many different kinds that can be made.” Katie does not sell to just anyone but does look forward to finding the hatchlings a safe and happy home when they are ready. She describes it as, “Christmas day” when the breeding process is over, and eggs finally lay. It is a tedious and fragile process to make the breeding healthy for the snakes and the new life at hand. But with the experience in rescue and handling animals that most people would not, this process is all worthwhile. The real reward comes after the eggs have incubated, and Katie can finally see what she has made with her already growing family. Her love for animals in undeniable, but reptiles have her heart. As the journey of rescuing goes on, Katie is always, “on call” for anyone that can get in touch with her. If they need help removing a snake, her name very well might just pop up while someone is in a panic with a unique creature. Although this job of hers is unusual, she approaches animals with grace, and finds excitement in giving them the life they deserve.