Crown counsel has approved two counts of animal cruelty charges against Mission resident Michael Hopcraft, who goes by the nickname “The Reptile Guy”, following a BC SPCA investigation. Hopcraft was also charged with one count of violating the Veterinarians Act.
The BC SPCA was called in to investigate after a video emerged showing Hopcraft performing a veterinary procedure on a friend’s blood python without the use of sedation or pain medication.
“Clearly, it is not appropriate for any individual without a veterinary licence to be performing such procedures,” says Marcie Moriarty, chief prevention and enforcement officer for the BC SPCA. “In this case, the manner in which the procedure was carried out could have resulted in the death of the animal. It is also concerning that the operation was done without the necessary pain control, which would have caused suffering and distress for the snake.”
Moriarty noted that the BC SPCA has responded to complaints on previous occasions regarding animals in Hopcraft’s care. In 2015, SPCA constables seized dozens of reptiles in distress from a rescue facility operated by Hopcraft.