Thursday, February 2, 2012

Helping animals in pet stores

Last week, Mads and I went to a pet store and looked at the reptiles (you should all know by now that we love reptiles), and I got all excited when I noticed they had baby leopard geckos - until I actually saw them. There were four babies, all of them were waaay too young to be sold! Two looked pretty good though, they had OK fat tails, pretty faces, etc. but the other two... They were younger than their siblings, were skinny and you could see they were lacking calcium.

One of them had the skinnest tail I have ever seen, and its face was all crooked, suggesting osteodystrophy, and metabolic bone disease, in result of a poor diet and not enough calcium. 

Left: Extremely skinny leopard gecko baby Right: A healthy one

We, of course, told the owner of the store about this poor gecko baby, and how it probably would die within a few weeks if not cared for properly. We decided not to leave until something was done to help this reptile, and the owner finally removed the sick animal from the cage to take "extra care of it". 

One week later (yesterday), we went back to the store to check on the poor gecko, and guess what - the owner had put it back in with its siblings without doing a damn thing to help it!

This poor baby is an extreme case of MBD
(this is not the gecko in the store)

I got really upset and told Mads we should force him to give the baby leopard gecko to us, because we at least have the heart to take proper care of it to make it survive. If it develops a severe case of MBD, it will die a painful death, unable to walk and too weak to eat.

Since the owner probably wouldn't agree to give up the baby, we told one of the staff about the sick lizard, and she immediately had people help her move the two bigger siblings to another terrarium (so there won't be any competition for the food), and put in a food dish, with mealworms dusted in calcium and vitamins, plus added a big piece of calcium in the terrarium.

It felt good knowing that some people cared (although they should have done this without us telling them to). We will go back next week to check on the poor thing, and its not so healthy sibling. If they don't look any better, we should either tell them to give us the leopard gecko baby/babies until they are strong and healthy, or we should report the store, because this is animal cruelty!


Anonymous said...

You did the right thing helping that poor baby. It is horrible how people could treat an animal like that knowing that it is sick!

Anonymous said...

It makes me so happy to hear about your diligence. Thanks for the pics too, I would never have known what a malnourished reptile looks like. What a miserable person that store owner is. I would yelp the name of the store to let people know how little the owner cares about his animals. He should be selling something that isn't alive instead.