On this page you will find the stories behind some of our more well known and also challenging recues. These are some of the worst cases of ill treatment and care we have ever seen.
We have shared these stories not to shame people but so that we can educate in the hope that lessons can be learnt and we don't ever have repeats of these cases again.
NOTE: Some of the images on this page contain graphic images of injured animal.
"Meet Harry. Harry is a Savannah Bosc Monitor and one our famous rescue’s – He’s certainly made an impact on many in the reptile community and has now become one of our resident mascots! Harry came to our Attention after we were contacted asking if we can take him on as his owner cannot look after him anymore. We were told he was a healthy, happy bosc. After being sent some pictures, we could see his “enclosure” (being a cupboard under the stairs, with barely any substrate, no waterbowl, no UV no decs, one small “hide” and dangling loose exposed heat bulbs off the wall) was not even remotely suitable. He looked lethargic and on closer inspection of the pictures we could see damage to some of his scales across a fairly large area. Little did we know the full extent of the damage, just that he needed urgent assessment and care. Within 24hrs we managed to source, collect and set up a 6ft quarantine vivarium for him, and arrange to meet his owner who wouldn’t let us to his house, and instead insisted we meet him in a car park. He was handed over in a tiny box he could barely fit in closed up, stone cold and barely responsive. We moved him into one of our large transportation RUBs and warmed him up, and very quickly he filled the tub with nasty undigested runny faeces. You could clearly see how poor his diet had sadly been, and the damaged area – clearly a burn – that covered 90% of his back, along with more burns on his legs and head.
As soon as we got him back for first aid treatment, we could see how lethargic he really was. He couldn’t even hold his own head up. We hydrated him, wrapped him in a towel and blankets for warmth and needed assistance with his breathing initially until we got him down to our herp vet. We knew then it was going to be a very long road to recovery. He was prescribed antinbiotic injections which he received weekly for around 3 months, anti inflammotories, pain relief and flamazine to apply to his burn area. It was a very slow process, with ups and downs along the way. All in all it tokearound 9 months to complete his healing process, and he still has more scales forming a year on and returning where we believed he would always have scar tissue. The Burns were so severe they reached all the way through his muscle close to his spine. We had our ups and downs throughout this time including him breaking Leon’s hand! But on the whole he has been a lovely, calm docile boy!
When it came to the time he was ready to be rehomed, we spoke to a few close friends in the reptile community, about how hard it will be to see him go, but we weren’t in a position financially with several other very sick reptiles to provide him and adequate sized forever home. Before we had a chance to get together all his details to start the adoption process, the craziest thing happened, behind out backs our friends had been fundraising, they had got together a large group of our supporters and together managed to raise the funds to buy Harry a gorgeous 8x4x4 vivarium, along with ALL the equiptment and decoration he needs, in order for him to stay with us here at the rescue!!! Safe to say we were totally dumstruck, and still in total awe of this incredibally kind thing that has been done for him now! So now he lives with us, as South West Reptile Rescue’s Boscot!! "
"This is Storm. One of the worst cases of poor husbandry and neglect we have had to deal with. One that we had to go through strenuous lengths to rescue. After hearing of her plight, where she was in a completely unsuitable set up with no UVA/UVB and a heat mat which caused a large burn to her underside, yet had continued to be kept on loose sand substrate weeks later, we knew we had to act fast! She was in Mid Wales, so we initially payed for her owners to take her to the vets where she received antibiotic cream for her burn. We managed to relocate her to temporary housing with Jane Gilliagan (Former Co-Founder or R.E.P.S in Cardiff) until we could reach her the next day. Her condition was far worse that originally expected!
The burn was severely infected and covered her rear passage causing feaces to cover the infected area, she had severe Metabolic Bone Disorder (MBD) and calcium deficiency, her spine had sunken and rib cage curved in. She also had breaks in her legs & tail along with a dislocated shoulder that had fused into place. That's not all... she also had an absyss in her foot, several layers of retained shed and was covered in scars from being eaten alive by insects.
She could barely move or lift her head. We cleaned her wounds and monitored her closely overnight. In the morning we took her to a reptile specialist at High Croft Vets in Bristol. With further investigation it was discovered that her bone density was so low there was no way she could support her own body. Many other injuries were found totaling around 21 different problems.
The care she would need would have put her through months of pain, she would never be able to function properly and would always be in pain. The only regrettable option was to put her to sleep.
Storms story hopefully highlights many issues, and why proper husbandry is so important! Heat mats should NEVER be used with beardies and UVA/UVB and calcium supplement are important! Choosing the correct substrate, setup and food is a must.
Think! Research! Put your dragons safety first! "