Supporting Reptile Rehab and Rescue Organizations
Anyone who is interested in animal well-being has probably heard of groups such as American Humane and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, both of which were founded in the 1800s. You may be familiar with the work they do to rescue homeless dogs and cats and help these furry friends find new homes.
But what about rescue and rehabilitation groups for exotic pets such as reptiles? Do those exist? Though keeping reptiles as pets is a relatively new phenomenon compared to the tradition of keeping dogs and cats, reptile keeping is gaining in popularity, which has led to a corresponding rise in the number of groups that have sprung up to protect their welfare.
Reptile Rescue and Rehabilitation Groups
There are now millions of reptiles in homes across the nation, and many species of reptiles, including chameleons, have become widely available as pets. However, people who have made the mistake of adopting a chameleon without first learning about their specific care needs may soon find themselves in over their heads.
Even the most well-intentioned pet parent cannot make responsible decisions on caring for an animal they don’t understand, or are not prepared to handle. As a result, some chameleon keepers end up with a pet who is sick or overly stressed, often from a combination of easily preventable problems such as failing to provide adequate lighting, moisture or cage space.
It can be easy to get overwhelmed when you have a sick pet. Chameleon owners who don’t know what to do when their pet seems lethargic or fails to eat may not know where to turn, especially if they do not have a reputable exotic vet nearby.
Traditional animal shelters and rescues are ill-equipped to care for the unique needs of reptiles, especially chameleons. The modern reptile rescue movement was born out of a small, yet dedicated, group of experienced individuals who began taking in sick or unwanted animals because of their passion for saving these unique pets.
Here is a closer look at a few groups that provide reptile rescue.
- Chameleon Education and Outreach, based in Los Angeles, is a nonprofit organization solely dedicated to rehabilitating chameleons and helping create better-educated chameleon owners. The organization has pledged to take in any chameleon; they help rehabilitate those that are not well and re-home ones that are healthy.
- Chameleon Rescue and Rehabilitation Center, based in Cincinnati, not only takes in sick chameleons, but is also working to create a prevention program to share knowledge that will ultimately lead to better overall care and health for captive chameleons.
- Forgotten Friend Reptile Sanctuary is a nonprofit reptile rescue in Pennsylvania that has a dual focus on educational outreach and rescuing/re-homing reptiles.
- Colorado Reptile Humane Society works to improve the lives of reptiles and amphibians, both in captivity and in the wild, through education and action.
If you are looking to bring a rescued chameleon or another type of reptile into your home and give it another chance at life, you can reach out to any of these organizations on their websites. You can also visit their websites to learn more about how you can support these worthy causes, whether through volunteering or by donating supplies or money.