Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Vinson Massif, Antarctica
To sum up the reason the person who wrote that article did... when I resuced my iguana - she was in an out door cage, crawling with ants... being fed lettuce and cheese. She was so badly bloated from the cheese she looked fat. I got her home, and after 3 days of no cheese the bloating started to go down and she was skin and bones. She had a hot rock which had burned her, and her tail was broken off and festering after a cage door mishap.
She had a horrible case of mites... the previous owner barely paid any attention to her, so the mites went unchecked for the better part of a year. Almost all of her scales were blackened and rotted off. Those that weren't completely gone, were misshapen and just looked plain terrible. She lost almost all her spines down her back because of the little buggers. At least she did have UV light on her. That was a plus.
It has taken me two years to get her back to optimal health and looking somewhat like a normal iguana again - instead of like one that someone set on fire. She still has a nasty attitude, will not allow people to handle her. I can feed her and clean her cage, but I still can't pick her up without a massive ordeal. Otherwise, I'm quite happy with how she's come along.
Now... in case you are thinking 'Thats horrible, must have been one bad owner.' the iguana rescues and shelters are FULL... I mean, beyond capacity... with animals just like her. Every single reptile rescue you talk to will give your horror stories about iguanas, I guarantee it. They are certainly the most neglected, abused, and dumped reptile pet there is. And at $19.99 from Petco, the bad owners don't feel like they've lost anything when they dump them.
She sits in her corner, singing herself to sleep.
Wrapped in all of the promises, that no one seems to keep.