Published: 06:00, 17 April 2021
| Updated: 07:33, 17 April 2021
An exotic animals YouTuber and spider breeder had only days to house his 250 animals after he was suddenly evicted.
Dan Oakley was homeless for seven months during the worst of the pandemic - but finally found a place in Kent to welcome his beloved pets home.
Following hard times hitting the family, Dan and his girlfriend came downstairs on August 28 to find a letter on their Stourbridge doorstep.
Their landlord had given them three months to leave the property.
The YouTuber said: "It came out of the blue, we came downstairs and the letter was there.
"I packed up my animals, my belongings, my clothes, everything I had and I left within two days.
"We ended up taking three trips from Stourbridge down to Kent and back with no sleep. I had done 940 miles in three days and I don't know how I did it - just adrenaline.
Dan Oakley, TarantulaDan on Youtube, speaks about being evicted and rebuilding his life in Kent
"The animals were a big thing because it's not like people having a cat or dog or gold fish. We're talking hundreds of tarantulas, bearded dragons, geckos, snakes and the iguana. I didn't want to part with any of them."
He eventually managed to set up most of his animals in a relative's spare room and left the iguana with another YouTuber friend, Amy from Pet Rock 'n Roll.
As the couple waded through a long process of buying out his girlfriend's old house, the couple and their ragdoll cat Putin were lucky enough to have places to crash with family and monetary support from his fans.
The keeper's passion for exotic creatures is well known to his thousands of viewers on YouTube - who know him as TarantulaDan - where he has been sharing his experience for over seven years.
But left unable to visit his beloved creepy-crawlies in lockdown or invest in his creative content and forced to leave his home of more than a decade to travel to a whole new county - Dan felt a huge loss.
Dan continued: "It's quite literally rock bottom - it was awful.
"I was going from doing lots of filming for YouTube and pictures for Instagram every day. When I first came to Kent, there was none of that. Life was very empty in every way.
"I don't know how to put it into words when you go from having a house you've lived in for 15 years with animals set up everywhere to no animals, homeless, I didn't have a job - it was strange.
"There's certainly people in worse situations so I'm very thankful for the people that have quite literally taken me in."
The couple moved into their Wigmore home two weeks ago. With a roof over their head, Dan was brought to tears when he was able to reunite with the pets he spends so much time caring for.
The 31-year-old: "Because I rescued the iguana and took her to the vets a few years ago, I didn't want to part with her.
Dan Oakley reunited with his iguana Yuna
"When I got my animals back, I actually cried. When I went to get the iguana, as she was the first one when I got back, she just crawled out and onto me straight away.
"After months she knew exactly who I was and we got to have a bit of a moment.
"I'm so happy to get them back. I'm happiest when I'm in this room with my animals.
"If I have any issues or problems on my mind, when I come through I forget about that and have things to do in here. Life can be difficult, but things will get better."
As well as getting his animals back, Dan found a job he adores at Elm Pets Aquatics and Reptiles in Gillingham where he gets to work with animals and animals lovers every day.
The couple are also expecting a baby.
Going forward, Dan is really excited to start uploading YouTube content again. Moving to the area in the midst of the pandemic's second wave, Dan hasn't been anywhere in the county so is looking forward to exploring.
He added: "It'd be nice to go and see a bit more of Kent. I'm not going to be leaving here unless the neighbours find out how many crazy animals I've got and they march me out.
"I know where I work, I know Tesco where I do my shopping, I know Pumpkin Moon because I went there in October. Those are the only times we've been out because of lockdown."
Feel free to leave your suggestions for where you think he should visit in the comments.