Where to Buy, Adopt or Rescue an Iguana

Saturday, September 26, 2009
A lot of people ask me where they should purchase an iguana. Provided this person knows all of the financial, emotional and physical involvement in owning an iguana I will gladly point them in the right direction. This direction is usually to classified ads, adoption boards, or local shelters. I understand that not all people can afford to take in a special need iguana and I understand that not all are prepared to own an adult iguana (as many come with 'tude problems.) But have no fear, I've seen dozens of young iguanas up for adoption weekly. Even when I lived back home in my small town in NJ, I went through www.craigslist.com and saw at least 5 adoptable, young and even tame iguanas needing homes.

Why do I advocate for adoption? Because we are having a very unfortunate problem with an excess of iguanas. Some people purchase them without knowing how much money they will cost long term, or without knowing how big they will get or they buy them for a child who soon looses interest. What happens to all of these iguanas? I have heard of some iguanas being let 'loose' in hopes they will survive, even in a place like here in Chicago. The iguana will not survive. I know of some iguanas who are left inside a tiny tank all day with no interaction while being fed dry food, dog food or meat and no UVB sources, which will eventually lead to a miserable iguana who doesn't have much time left here on earth.

If you purchase an iguana from a pet store, it will only increase their sales of exotic reptiles which will allow them to import more iguana hatchlings, thus leading to more unwanted iguanas in search of homes. If you really want an iguana, please please please do your research. Get everything you need first, as well as set aside some extra money for vet visits, then spend time (weeks or even months) searching for the perfect pet who needs You!

Here is a link to the Green Iguana Society's web page for iguana adoptions: Adoptions

Before we moved to Chicago, I had the difficult decision of whether or not to bring Iggy with us. Being that she was my brother's, mostly by title because I took care of her, I wasn't sure how it would work out. But I knew that with my brother turning 18 soon, he'd be out all the time and Iggy would either die, be given up for adoption, or let loose. Knowing how my dad has handled unwanted pets in the past, well, I'm pretty sure he'd have no problem letting her go. So, I took full responsibility and in a sense, rescued her from impending doom. (Just to put this out there- many new iguana owners mean well and I don't think you're a bad or evil person should you need to give up your iguana. But I do think we should all take responsibility for our actions and learn from our mistakes. Research and think about the future when buying or adopting an iguana!)

My baby! Lucky for me, when I made the decision to bring Iggy my boyfriend agreed it was the right thing to do. He recently told me, "I never thought I'd like iguanas as much as I do now. She is so cute, I can't even imagine her not with us." He loves to pet her dewlap and I think she loves it, too.


1 comment:

  1. You definently did the right thing! That was wonderful of you. There are so many iguanas every day just on craigslist that people are trying to get rid of.