About Us

Hands on Exotics is an animal shelter based out of Toronto, Ontario which specializes in the care of exotic animals (i.e. animals other than cats and dogs). The histories of our animals are varied but the vast majority of them started out as pets living in private homes until their owners could no longer take care of them and asked us to take them in. Others were seized by the SPCA or animal services from homes or other places that were not keeping them well or not keeping them legally.

At Hands on Exotics, we believe that public education is extremely important in helping to raise awareness for conservation issues and responsible pet ownership. Our program animals are carefully selected for both their temperament and safety – we only bring out animals that enjoy human interaction. It is strictly against our policies to use an animal for outreach programs that would be stressed by traveling or human interaction. Meeting and interacting with our animal ambassadors in person not only helps to enhance learning, but helps to promote a positive relationship between both humans and animals. Educational programs are available for schools, community centres, childcare organizations, libraries, and private events like birthday parties, fairs, and festivals.The pet therapy program at Hands on Exotics currently visits nearly 300 nursing homes, retirement homes, autism groups, blind-and-deaf groups, and other special needs groups annually! Hands on Exotics does not currently receive public funding. The care of our animals is funded entirely by the use of these services.