Devastated and heartbroken

Ranting about a situation I’ve found myself in recently, with a family member of all things.

TLDR; I’m pretty sure my sister played me into giving her one of my snakes, so she could steal him and sell/trade him for cash or illegal substances.

Full story:

So, my little Moon, an axanthic het albino hognose. I thought he was a she, until I attempted popping her and a hemipene came out! Since I already have Blizzard, a visual snow, I didn’t need Moon anymore and so planned to sell him.

I happened to mention this to my sister, and she asked how much. $500. Then she wanted to buy him from me. I told her to think about it (and was hoping in the meantime she would do research about hognoses… she didn’t.)

It was odd because prior to that she had asked me how much hognoses usually are, and I told her the cheapest ones are usually around $200. She thought that was “too expensive.” But now she was suddenly okay spending $500 on one?

A few days later, Saturday night (August 28th) she came in the reptile room while we were working on cleaning and feeding, and asked if she could take him. I stupidly agreed, thinking she would make payments on him as we discussed.

Set up the most basic tank setup, gave him a single hide and water bowl (which she never actually put any water in from what I found out from my fiancé when he checked his tank) and forgot the most important thing… a heat source. (This is why I know she didn’t do research, or she just didn’t bother because she wasn’t planning on keeping him…)

Sunday rolls by without incident.

Then Monday, she casually comes into the living room a bit after we got up, claiming Moon escaped. Her story?
She was “cleaning” his tank because there was “too much bedding” in it. He was in a container sitting on her bed.
She changed her story on the container… first she said “I didn’t think he would go anywhere because he normally just balls up and sits there” (which is true of him) and then said “I didn’t think he could get out of that container”

Two problems with the “cleaning” thing…. a) I specifically told her hognoses need a lot of bedding to burrow in. Why would she need to remove any? b) Even if that was the case, she wouldn’t need to remove Moon to spot clean the tank.
We also never saw any disposed of aspen bedding in any of the trash cans.

So, that night I asked her what container she had him in. She says, “I don’t remember, ask me when I’m sober.” (She was high on marijuana, somehow that makes her memory non functional.)

She also never made any true efforts to look for him, which honestly tells me right there she did something with him. Why would she look for a snake if she knows where he’s at?

The next day, I actually asked her about the container again. So she goes and rummages through the cabinet, then the dishwasher.
She then points to a large bowl, saying it was “something like that one” — this bowl was used by my fiancé to mix seasonings into hamburger meat for homemade burgers.

She also revealed to me that she supposedly left him on her bed… while she had come to the kitchen to clean out the tank. Again, there were no aspen shavings in the trash can or on the floor.

This prompted me to check our camera playback, because if it was true, I should have seen her take a container out of the kitchen and take the tank into the kitchen.

I checked the playback for both Sunday and Monday, just to be super thorough… never once did she do either things.
So the cleaning story was a lie, there was no container she had him in. She knows where he’s at.

So… I’m pretty sure she set me up so she could steal one of my snakes and sell/trade it for who knows what.

I don’t know how to confront her over it, or if she’d even admit anything to me. She’s still a minor so I can’t just kick her out, but she did get CPS involved to force us to let her stay with us… so I might just ask they take her away because she’s stealing from us and likely getting herself into a lot of trouble outside of the home.

I can’t trust her anymore, and I’m just so upset… I don’t care about money, but because I don’t know where Moon is and if he’s even safe… :sob:


OMG this is heart breaking.

I think it would be best for you and your fiancé to talk first, but the best advice I could give is to then approach the topic in a Calm way. ask what really happened, explain that the truth is more important than a punishment.

I’m not saying don’t punish her, just word it correctly to get the truth… Then punish her on her lie.

Your right, if she is stealing from you then she is likely doing other things wrong also so regardless of the poor snake moon, it could get worse for you all.

Hopefully it was sold to someone who knows how to care for moon, but right now you need to get the truth.

Ask her to explain what happened again, I’m not sure why a minor is on majarana, nor do I need an explanation but make sure she is clear headed when you ask. Then question bits at a time eg. The camera didn’t pick you up doing …

I don’t suppose the camera would pick up her removing the snake at all?


That is horrible!!

I would ask directly. As you said she’ll probably not tell the truth. And regardless is she’s sold him for money or not i would want her out.
I’ll be honest, If that were my sibling they’re gone!
If I got told a lot of rubbish, also asking prices they go for I wouldn’t of let him or any of my animals near. She doesn’t sound trustworthy at all.

Say you need to know who’s got him so you can ‘buy him back’. If that’s the case obviously.


I can’t say much other than I’m sorry for the loss of your little one.
Also, no, I do believe you can kick her out.
If you don’t have legal authority over her, meaning your not her legal guardian, then you can kick her out. You don’t have any obligation to her if you’re not.
I sadly doubt you’ll ever see moon again, but if there is a tiny shred of hope, is that whoever has him now is taking care of him.


She’s been getting into that stuff ever since her ex got her into them… I’m just not able to intervene and get her to stop taking them.

My plan is to try and get ahold of CPS again, and see if I can get them to take her into the foster system or send her back to Oregon to our adoptive parent. I in fact do not have any legal guardianship over her, it expired back in February and adoptive mother never bothered to renew it.

I’ll probably try and confront her over it as well, and straight up tell her she can’t live here anymore if this is the kind of **** she’s gonna resort to.


The closest thing I got to anything like that on the cam was her looking into her backpack (as if she were checking on something or making sure it was there) before leaving the house on Sunday morning through the back door, but I can’t use it as any solid proof because whatever she pulled up out of the bag wasn’t visible enough on camera


Can you lock your snakes etc away?


That is really horrible. I think you should try to get the truth out of her somehow although I’m not sure how exactly to get her to fess up as to what really happened with Moon. You might have to sort of play a lil mindgame and trip her up in it but do so with a calm approach. You can also say you will have her sent to the foster system if she doesnt fess up.

I’m so sorry this happened to you. Moon looks like a very handsome lil guy. I hope he is safe wherever he is. I know its unlikely but I hope you somehow get him back.


I know she won’t take them directly from the reptile room because there’s a camera in there and it’d be way too obvious, especially if she tried to unplug it (or several cameras) and a snake went missing… I do believe she set me up by asking to take him from the reptile room and keep him in her room. Then she could get away with making up a story about him getting loose and I’d be none the wiser… except she’s a horrible liar and the lack of evidence for any of her claims is enough for me to know she lied.

The CPS worker is coming tomorrow to talk to me about it, but she’s gonna have to go stay with our biological mother. I’m not allowing her to stay with us anymore.


I am so sorry this has happened to you! You are handling this much better than I would. I’m one of those ultra-attached pet-owner hobbyists that keeps animals their entire lives. I would definitely press charges against anyone I know, as well as permanently cut off ties, my sister included, for something like that. But I recognize most people would not feel the way I would in a situation like this one. Even though I feel any punishment would be woefully inadequate for a crime like that, it’s totally unacceptable, for any reason whatsoever, to do what she did, and I would want her to deal with the consequences.

To me, being a juvenile is not an excuse and I hope she somehow gets held accountable for her actions. Perhaps a sharp slap on the wrist would give her the scare she needs to get back on the straight and narrow?

But, again, I totally recognize and accept that most people would not want to deal with a situation like the in the way I would.


Oh, believe me, I’m absolutely livid about it and would love nothing more than to strangle her over it.

She overstepped a HUGE boundary of mine, and that is messing with my snakes and trying to get away with it.
She could have stole literally anything else, but she decided to pick the one thing… I will never forgive her for it either.

At this point I’m probably not going to talk to her for a very long time once she’s moved out. Maybe not even ever again.

I’m just trying to play it cool because she is the revengeful type, and I’m probably going to confront her about it right before we send her off to go stay with our mom.

Depending on if or what info I get out of her, I’ll likely get ahold of our adoptive parents, tell them the situation, and they can give me the $500 out of her adoption money she gets each month so I can recoup that loss. I’d still rather have the snake, but… usually with situations like this it’s unlikely I’ll be able to recover him at this point.


This whole situation is so sad! I’ll be sending my prayers your way. I hope everything gets resolved in a civil and appropriate way.


I would report her and make sure you have locks on all your enclosures if you can. Or get a lock in the door to the snake room. You don’t need someone stealing from you living with you, sibling or not. If my sister did this I would kick her out in a heartbeat. I wouldn’t even bother confronting her since people like this can’t really be reasoned with.


I plan on kicking her out tomorrow, that’s for sure.
I would have today but I need to make sure CPS has a chance to talk to me first before I do so — I’m hoping the lady can just take Cece over to my mom’s place for me so I don’t have to worry about it.

I wouldn’t be able to lock the reptile room door unfortunately, it doesn’t even close properly because our internet coax goes through the doorway… the most I can do is just keep a close eye on everything until tomorrow


I’m so sorry to hear that, I cannot relate to you but I will try to help. Idk if this might help but

I have once lost my gecko and it’s very stressful. I wish you the best of luck.


All evidence points to the snake being sold by the sister, not escaping.


I REALLY hope she confesses, at least that way you might be able to find moon and check his new owner knows how to look after him.

I cannot relate to your situation what so ever, but it appears you are doing everything the way you should.

She won’t learn and will probably get worse if not dealt with so I really do think your doing what’s best for her, as well as you and your reptiles.

Is there anywhere you can advertise stolen snake? It might not help, but worth a try?

Keep us updated :crossed_fingers:


Yeah, unfortunately I did do all the searching I could do before I put two and two together and figured he wasn’t anywhere I could actually find him. No point in trying to find a snake that isn’t even in the home.

I do appreciate the help though :heart:


Holly I am so sorry about this. I wish there was someway for me to help you out. If you find out who has him maybe they will find it in their hearts to give him back to his proper owners. As for your sister, I am baffled how someone could do that. I hope that she confesses when it is brought to her attention because it would make it a lot easier to heal from this sort of trauma. 100% my prayers are for you and your fiancé in this horrible situation. If nothing else I have said helps please hear this, we are here for you, and people should not behave like this towards even their worst enemies let alone their sister.

With much love and care,


I’m hoping I can find out who she gave him to. If not I’ll probably post on Facebook and Craigslist stating that he was stolen and if anyone has him then I would like him returned to me