Salt Lake County Animal Services finds new homes for more than 200 seized reptiles

Posted at 9:37 PM, Feb 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-22 23:37:00-05

SALT LAKE COUNTY -- Dozens of reptiles Salt Lake County Animal Services seized from a local reptile owner now have new homes.

Salt Lake County Animal Services said they adopted out or let reputable rescues take in the more than 200 reptiles they removed from Jim Dix's ownership.

Captain Robert Lewis with Salt Lake County Animal Services said 149 of the reptiles came from a building in Magna in late January. The other 86, he said, were seized from a Midvale warehouse in early February.

DWR took 26 of those animals, and Capt. Lewis said their shelter took in the rest.

He said some of the turtles and snakes were so bad off, they died despite the shelter's best efforts to save them.

They're now looking at possible animal cruelty charges against Dix, Capt. Lewis said.

On Thursday, Sarah Southerland from Sarah's Bearded Dragon and Reptile Rescue picked up several turtles and a snake from the shelter.

She said she brought 12 turtles of different varieties home. Many of the turtles appear to be sick with respiratory issues, she said. A snake is the worst off among the group.

"This guy is so critical and so close to dying, I decided that I will hang on to him," she said.

She took three of the animals to Dr. Douglas Folland at Parrish Creek Veterinary Clinic on Thursday to be checked out.

"You can see that he's missing his foot on his side, there's a little swelling on the end, possibly infection," Dr. Folland explained, holding up one of the turtle's legs.

He said the snake is suffering from malnourishment, a respiratory infection and an infection in his mouth.

The snake's health issues are nothing new, he explained.

"For them to become really thin and sick like this, may take several months," Dr. Folland said.

Thankfully, he said the reptiles will recover and Southerland said each turtle already has a new home lined up.

Fox 13 reached out to Jim Dix, and he said many of the reptiles he owned were already in bad condition when he got them.

Dix said he plans to fight the seizure of the reptiles and will also fight any criminal charges.