A new pet store specializing in exotic reptiles

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SHERRILL – When you step into Upscale Exotics, don’t expect any fuzzy stuff.

That’s the motto of Sherrill’s new pet store – Upscale Exotics, a family-owned reptile store that opened on June 19. All kinds of exotic reptiles are for sale, from snakes and turtles to turtles and lizards with new pets coming regularly.

The store is owned and operated by Tim and Andrea Becker. Residents of Oneida might recognize Tim as the owner of Mind Games. Hailing from Camden, he said reptiles had always been a passion for him – having been a reptile breeder for 30 years – and that he had spent the past 13 years planning and brewing high-end exotics.

“It’s a new start for me,” Becker said. “In the basement, I imagined the business plan, I drew the models, and 13 years later, the store layout is exactly what I have in my book.

Becker credits his family for the work, which made it possible to open the doors and make things work. As for the community, Becker couldn’t be happier with the response he has received since opening its doors.

“The outpouring of support has been there since day one of our opening,” Becker said. Being so close to the Turning Stone Casino, people from all over the country have stopped by to see what is for sale.

“The alternate world of pets is starting to show its face and places like PetCo and Petsmart, and we wanted to show the world what a real pet store is when it’s developed just for reptiles,” Becker said. “We want to specialize and not worry about being a pet store that has everything for every customer.”

Upscale Exotics includes special temperature-controlled PVC cages that ensure the comfort and safety of every creature. After a sale, the cages are thoroughly cleaned, left to stand for 10 days, then reconfigured to house a new animal.

“The store will change frequently as every week we bring in new animals that have passed our 40s, passed exams, and then released for sale in the store,” Becker said. “So when you come home with a pet, you know everything is up to standard and starting with a nice, healthy pet. “

And in addition to the pets for sale, Becker plans to use two exhibits to teach local children about the world of reptiles.

One is an Argentine Tegu affectionately named “Tony”, and the other features two rare panther chameleons.

“We had a very generous local chameleon breeder who gifted us a pair of panther chameleons which are super rare to have in captivity,” Becker said. “The male courted the female, so they’re going to produce offspring, and we’ll be selling them to pet houses in the future.”

The two enclosures are still under construction, the chameleon exhibition will soon receive a gentleman and an additional tree. Becker said Tony’s enclosure is expected to be completed within the next two months. Until then, Becker was working on socializing with Tony. Argentine Tegus are very intelligent and social animals described as “like dogs” that require a lot of attention.

Becker hopes to discuss opportunities for field trips to local schools so the kids can learn something new about reptiles.

“At VVS High School, when the students have earth science lessons, I teach genetics and adaptation, and I take animals,” he said. “The teachers have said how they would like to pay me to enter, but I don’t accept their money. And now I have a place where students can come and learn.

Becker stresses the importance of making sure the animals come home with people who will make sure they are as healthy, happy and safe as they were in the store.

One type of pet that has become popular in recent times are turtles, and at the turtle enclosure at Upscale Exotics, a painted turtle can cost $ 80 while an albino turtle can cost over $ 1,000 – but they are expensive for a reason.

“They are expensive because they are rare. For some of them, there are less than 15 in the world, ”Becker said. “They were provided to us by Gerard Siatkowski, owner of albinoturtles.com.”

When an animal comes out the door, Becker said he would always be worried and absolutely wanted to make sure he was taken care of and loved.

“We provide a care sheet for each animal, and that’s how we take care of them, so when you come home you give them the same care,” he said.

At the grand opening, Becker said a father and nine-year-old daughter entered the store in search of a pet. The girl had wanted one of the albino turtles.

“I asked her ‘does she want it or do you want it?’ and he said again, she wants it, ”Becker said. “I asked him if he understood the kind of care this turtle was going to take. He said, ‘Yeah, I’m going to show her for a week and a half, and then it’s all up to her.’ “

Becker showed the dad the turtle aquarium, everything in the kit, and everything taken care of.

“I told her, ‘There are 36 items in this kit that your daughter will need an education on how to use, operate and configure to make sure this turtle lives. And I don’t feel secure enough, and I refuse your sale for $ 1,700. “

Becker said this is how he plans to operate in the future – putting the safety and welfare of the animal before a sale and making sure new pet owners know to pretty much everything they need to know when they bring home a pet from their store.

For more information on Upscale Exotics, visit www.upscaleexotics.com or call 315-376-5002

Area reptile owners looking for care tips can visit Upscale Exotics’ Facebook page at www.facebook.com/UpscaleCurator and leave a message or stop by the store while owners check in. ‘business.


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