Friends of Scales Reptile Rescue was founded officially September 6, 2011 and we have never looked back! These are the "staff" members that keep us going strong through their own homes and the homes of others who foster for us! The members below are the Board Members, all are unpaid positions that are filled only because they believe in what Friends of Scales stands for!
Erica "Air" Mede, CVT : President and Founder
Erica, or Air, is a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) in Illinois working for an EXOTIC ONLY animal hospital by day, and rescuing herpetiles 24-7! She founded Friends of Scales Reptile Rescue after seeing a real need in the reptile community for owners who are unable to care for their sick and injured pets. Working in an exotics animal hospital has given her a unique opportunity to ease the worry some owners have about medical costs and the care of their pets. This is one woman who is not afraid of bites, scratches, or tail whips! Her dream for the rescue is see it grow into one of the largest, self-sustaining reptile rescues in the region with a facility that the public could visit for adoptions, education, and to learn better ways to manage aggressive and large reptiles!
When Air isn't taking care of the reptiles in her care, working at the clinic, attached to her phone (a rarity when she is seen without it!), updating the Facebook site, or this website (not enough hours in the day!) she participates in ARAV (Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarians) as the Technician Liaison and on various committees and works towards her specialty license through AVTCP.
Dr. Todd Gray : Vice President & Medical Director (Thing 1)
Chris McKee: Secretary
Growing up in a small southern California city, the outdoors was always beckoning. At age 3, while camping with the family, a small gecko was seen attached to the top of the tent, mesmerized by it's capability of walking upside down, the love of reptiles and knowing as much about them as possible was born. After high school, Chris went into the military, following his grandfather's footsteps. While in his various duty stations, he kept multiple species of reptiles and started a project with a close military friend to make antivenom in Arizona.
After moving to Illinois, Chris joined the reptile community, started educating the pubic on care and benefits of reptiles. As a recent addition to Friends of Scales, he puts his knowledge and education in everything that he does. Setting up the Family Video educating and fundraising shows, brings more people from all walks of life to the reptile world and to understand that reptiles, amphibians, and inverts are a part of people's families too. He and his wife Michele, live in Glenview, Illinois, with their breeding groups of ball,carpet,and blood pythons,Brazilian rainbow Boas,cats and a dog. As always they will both tell you that it's free admission to their zoo. He is pictured here (in the middle) with Josh and one of our volunteers Mike.
Diane M. : Treasurer
Josh Baity: Public Relations Officer
Josh grew up in Frankfort, IL and learned to fish at the age of 4... by the age of 5 it got boring waiting for the bobber to go down, so like most others he began catching frogs, toads, snakes, and anything with scales and tails (yeah, never stopped fishing). At 8 years old he had dug a "hole to china" that ended up attracting a snapping turtle, some garters, and a bullfrog. He still thanks his dad to this day for never complaining about it, and never had to fill it back in.
Throughout high school he took trips to Missouri and Colorado, herping for prarie rattlers, and timber rattlers. At the age of 15 he had already been raising corn snakes from hatchlings, and had a pair of ball pythons. Absorbing everything he could at that time from books by Michael Macahern, Dave and Tracy Barker, and just about anything from the 1990's library on herps, he successfully bred corn snakes by the age of 16. Josh now resides in Oak Forest IL with a healthy breeding colony of ball pythons, 2 hamsters, a dog, 3 kingsnakes, a corn snake, two bearded dragons, and two amazon tree boas. His main focus has always been on good husbandry of captive reptiles, and conservation of those in the wild. J osh is also the co-host, and interviewer for the "New 2 Scales" radio show, heard on the Herp Nation Radio network. Pictured with him is one of the best photographers around and one of our greatest supporters!
Dr. Sue Horton : Medical Director (Thing 2)