This story is an excellent news story for the pet, who we’ve called Diego. He’s a bearded dragon, with a story to share with – if perhaps he could speak. Diego was located on the footpath, by the medial side of a derelict building site locally, eating ants. The person who found him, picked him up and took him to someone who runs a nearby rescue centre. She isn’t the type of person to show a dog away and gladly took Diego in, putting him in with her very own bearded dragon (who was another rescue animal).
As soon as we heard about Diego’s plight through her Facebook page, we offered to rehome poor people lad, as we’d two spare vivariums. There’s no knowing the length of time he had been there, or why he was there, but as it was a derelict site and these animals love the warmth of the desert and aren’t vulnerable to wander from their owners, we can only believe that somebody had dumped him there since they no Rescue Youth more wanted to help keep him. Such a shame, because he’s a very beautiful and loving critter – we estimate that he had been there for approximately 2-3 weeks by his poor condition (he was very thin, malnourished and dehydrated).
People do not seem to think about what are the results when they buy an animal – what it takes to reside, how long it will live for and what it will decide to try look after, they’re going into things blind and a lot of the time the sales representatives in the stores are poor (esp in the larger stores). It is not a thing that is particular to exotic pets either, its exactly the same for rabbits and dogs and cats. So many animals have been in rehoming centres like Paula’s because their owners no longer want them and it’s such a shame.
My advice is whenever you buy an animal, look up their care first either via the internet or by purchasing a book – discover how they are now living in the wild, what type of conditions they require for a great healthy life, what they eat, how large they will grow, the length of time they live for etc. Then work-out whether you probably want the commitment that keeping this pet will bring – a bearded dragon can easily live for 15-20 years, they grow rather large, they eat a number of insects and vegetation (which could cost between £2 and £8 weekly depending on your animal), they require a big enclosure (at least 36″ x 18″ x 18″) with thermostatically controlled heating and ultra violet light for 12 hours a day. They want attention too, because they like only sitting in your lap listening to your voice and watching that which you are up to (just watch your dinner;). If you cannot give your animal everything it needs, or afford to help keep after that it you should not buy it in the first place – this ought to be the first rule of pet ownership and everybody should obey it, because the results of not doing so might be awful – it means that more and more animals end up ownerless and powerless over their future in rescue centres all over the world.