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Nonprofit plans to use grant to bring reptile museum to Louisa Co.

Published: Nov. 5, 2021 at 4:47 PM EDT
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LOUISA COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - A Louisa County nonprofit is looking to help you get over your fear of snakes and other reptiles. Now, it has some more money to help it fulfill this mission.

My Three Chambered Heart took home the top prize at the Quad Tank Pitch Competition. The nonprofit says it will use the $8,000 to fund a museum full of reptiles.

Jake Pugh, the CEO and owner of My Three Chambered Heart, came up with the idea for the nonprofit to share his love and knowledge of snakes.

“When people found out that I had snakes, the adults would go, ‘ooh,’ and lean back, they’d step back, then they would lean forward, because everyone’s interested. Even if you don’t like them, everyone’s interested,” Pugh said. “And the kids always stepped in.”

His goal is to improve the public perception and wildlife conservation of reptiles through educational outreach. Jake and his wife, Elizabeth, currently have 55 animals, including 35 snakes.

“I would take in animals, and a lot of them were in really bad shape. And they were from all different backgrounds and circumstances. And a lot of times the condition of the animal was not something that was done out of malice. A lot of times it was maybe in ignorance that was unintentional. But still, it resulted in these animals that were very sick,” Pugh said.

All of these animals and reptiles are currently living at their house, but that will soon change. The $8,000 won in the pitch competition will go toward creating museum habitats in the county. Visitors will not only be able to see reptiles, but learn how to interact with them in a safe way.

The interactive museum is expected to be completed by summer 2022. Private events and classes are available on their website now.

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