The Central Garden & Pet brand Zilla donated $25,000 to the United States Association of Reptile Keepers (USARK) at the North American Reptile Breeders Conference (NARBC) held March 14-15, 2015 in Tinley Park, Ill.
The donation was prompted by recent anti-reptile legislation passed earlier in the month and was met with a standing ovation from industry breeders, manufacturers and hobbyists attending the conference banquet.
The USARK organization is an advocate for the conservation, responsible ownership and trade of reptiles and amphibians. They serve the reptile industry by lobbying Congress and are the voice of the reptile community when it comes to reptile and amphibian legislation.
“The Zilla brand is proud to support the USARK and their efforts,” said Ryan McVeigh, brand manager at Zilla. “The recent legislation may not have dramatically impacted commonly kept reptiles in the trade but it sets precedence and opens the door to another round of legislation that will. Our goal is to help people enjoy reptiles and amphibians for generations to come.”
This donation had a ripple effect encouraging others to join the cause and support USARK. Many provided donations of their own or they generously opened their wallets during the banquet’s product auction. A night that was already on track to set a new record for donations ended up more than doubling what has been previously raised. Over $115,000 was raised to fight this legislation and support the reptile hobbyists all over the country.