Saturday, October 30, 2010

To buy or not to buy an iguana in the shop?

I'm upset, I must say, I really am.

So there's this person on a reptile forum, saying he'd seen a baby green iguana in a shop that is kept in bad conditions and that he's thinking about 'rescuing' it. Then, he goes and asks us what he should do and if we could give him some information on how we experienced ones keep our animals.

My initial reaction was to tell him not buy this animal in this shop, rather to go and report this shop for buying this little one would only result in the shop getting a new one that will be held in bad condition.
I'm against buying these animals in the shop in general, since they usually don't have the animal's best interest at heart but their money and every sold animal is cash in the books. They often don't give sound advice, warn people off or even worse: give bad advice.

Now, this guy who sought advice, wouldn't listen, at all. He went onto another thread  telling another guy he should 'rescue' this little guy in the shop because he looks well after his big boy. I nearly lost it there. Today, on the original thread, he asks again, if we really don't think buying this baby iguana in the shop would be a good idea.

No, it's not!

What angers me the most is that people obviously aren't capable of using google, since putting in 'green iguana keeping' gives you 110k results in 20 seconds and there you have it: a whole wide world of information. There, you will see that iguanas become huge, up to six feet, that they require a huge set up, that they can become rather unpleasant, what food they need and how old they become.

I wonder why people are not taking more responsibility before getting such an animal that's not the average cat, but an animal that requires knowledge, patience, willingness to learn, every day and certainly it requires quite a bit of money. Vets don't come cheap. I pay about 90 pounds per month for food and electricity/water and the vet bills were over 1200 pounds in six month this year. Two years ago, I paid 1200 for my female that sadly died after surgery.

I've got mine 'rescued' from a pair that wasn't allowed to keep it after they moved house. Something I don't understand either. If I can't move in with my animal, then I don't want this flat. Would they give their child away because the landlord doesn't like children?

And he was given to them because his former owner was surprised it grew. So in his young three years, he had to go through three new owners. Poor guy. At least, I know I'm going to keep him until he dies and that's hopefully a very long time until them. He bit me several times, brought me to the A&E, is aggressive and won't let me handle him, but I love him to bits and I would never even think of giving him away.

Almost every week I see ads of people who have to re-home their animals, the rescue centres are full of big adult males, given away because they became inconvenient, aggressive, large, owner moved house or countries. It's really really sad.
I wish people would make up their mind thoroughly before getting a pet like this and inform themselves, use the possibilities given, like google, books, whatever and if they then make this decision to get one, to be aware it's a decision for this animal's life.

So if you want an iguana, think hard! Then go and take one of those poor iguanas that sit in a rescue centre and could do with a loving home. They've usually been through enough, they deserve a good life.

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