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About Pails for Scales

Shop Front - Pails for Scales Unique Pets


The man behind Pails for Scales!

There comes a time in your life when you meet a bloke and you're convinced he's lost his marbles.

The man behind Pails For Scales, Unique Pets! To the non reptile blooded human, picking up a snake that has the potential to end your days in one bite, may seem a little risky, if not crazy. But Roy Pails is one of the most down to Earth fellas you can meet and he's the first to tell you - That in the world, a human is in hospital every minute due to dog attacks... so who's the crazy one? I guess he has a point. It's not long after meeting Roy that you soon discover he is truly passionate about animals and reptiles. As one of Australia's largest breeders, his knowledge of reptiles seems endless yet as any snakey will tell you, there's always something new to learn about these fascinating creatures.

Roy Pails - Pails for Scales Unique Pets


Roy Pails moved to Australia when he was just 9 years old. He migrated to the great land from England. It wasn't too long (a month or two) before he'd caught his first reptile... a 'beaut' Blotched Blue Tongue! Whilst out collecting Blue tongues as a 12 year old, Roy came across his first snake and just couldn't help but pick it up. Before getting bitten, this spotty young Roy let it go... but the bug had set in fast. He was now a fully-blown snakey. There was something about the piercing eyes and amazing scales of his first snake catch that had really struck home. After that, Roy returned to the Werribee area of Melbourne, which before being swallowed by sprawling suburbia, was a haven for reptiles. This time Roy started rolling tin looking for lizards and came across a Tiger snake lying their, adrenaline pumping through his veins, he put the tin back down and started looking for something to put him in. He came across a jar, returning to the piece of tin, he pinned the Tiger snake with his foot and placed it in the jar. That was the start of him keeping and catching snakes. That day alone, he caught 2 Common Tiger snakes and 2 little Whip snakes... they just had to go home with him. Although his parents weren't too impressed on the idea, they had succumb to the idea that is was going to happen sooner or later! 

That was the birth of his collection! From that day on, Roy caught more and more... and more.. and more snakes, setting up pits in his parent's garden to house the reptile collection. Later going on to set up fish tanks to house small skinks and smaller snakes. Now 18, Roy met Brian Barnett, who was keeping reptiles from the Northern part of Australia in heated cages. The sight of pythons and other venomous species along with lizards and crocodiles excited Roy. That was it... he headed straight home and made a start on his first heated cage! From there, Roy bought many reptiles and it wasn't long before his father's pool room was no longer used for gaming. Cages where everywhere and his Dad wasn't too keen on the idea of no longer being able to play pool with his mates. So much did Roy's collection grow... his Dad had to extend the house and build a snake room! (Good job he had good parents). His love for animals didn't stop at reptiles either, Roy is a very kind hearted bloke and this showed from an early age. Orphaned animals of all kinds could find a home with Roy (and still do!).

The family then moved to Ballarat and his father built a double garage just to house Roy's growing collection. Soon after Roy bought 2.5 hectares of un-touched bush land in an area close to Ballarat. He started to develop this land, building a Wildlife Park, housing and showing a vast array of Australian wildlife. Roy being Roy, took in every animal he could into the park and it soon over took his life, acting almost as a full time career. It wasn't long before looking after the animals, working and care for a young family became too much for Roy too handle.... so there's a big lesson to be learned there: Don't open a Wildlife Park unless you have a truck load of money!

After selling the house and land, Roy set up in Ballarat where in 1987 he established a bigger breeding facility which housed over 200 reptiles. This included some outdoor enclosures to house lizards and snakes as well as a 7m x 4m croc enclosure to house his beloved Ally the Saltwater Crocodile , Ally . By then Roy was breeding more and more reptiles, this is when a mate gave the nickname Pails For Scales and it stuck! He also began selling mice and rats and later on reptile products. By 2004 Roy had approximately 800 reptiles.


Outgrowing the home, it was time to look for a place to trade as a shop. In June 2005, Unique Pets, Pails for Scales was born! The reason behind the name Unique Pets was because Roy thought people would question what a Pails for Scales was? At Pails for scale we have a large a Unique range of animals, Snakes, Lizards, Frogs, Birds, Fish, Rabbits, Guinea pigs, Insects, Marsupials, (We are more like a free zoo).

The reptiles have their own bank account and the money made from the reptiles goes back to the reptiles.Now the reptile facility is complete, Roy has used the reptile money to purchase two properties to help save the native animals in the Berringa Area, along the edge of Moonlight Creek. Adjacent to the reserve Roy is trying to clean out the introduced weeds and remove the rocks from the old mine site to spread around the property as habitats for the animals. More recently Roy and his family have purchased a third property in the area which has facilities to camp out, this will allow increased time spent there working on making it wildlife friendly. Along with the purchase of the property was the purchase of a tractor which will make light work of removing weeds and rock, alot easier than a wheelbarrow and shovel! Read more on block news.

Pails for scales retail store has now closed after 13 great years. But we now starting a new adventure with Pails For Scales Conservation. I wanted to try and help the wildlife while I was still fit enough to get around

I did intend to just look after Sunset Sanctuary and do some volunteer work on other sanctuaries , But I ended up purchasing 4 more properties , giving us 8500 acres of land set aside for the wildlife and flora .   We have now Fox, cat and rabbit proofed Sunset Sanctuary with a 1.8 metre floppy topped fence and have introduced 9 Threatened Species