This never should have happened! What is it about humans that think just because we have a dollar burning a hole in our pocket, that we can purchase whatever we wish and then treat it however we want? How can this go unpunished? Surely there is someone above watching and taking notes. There must be some penance for the crime of knowingly making an animal suffer just because you can, or just because you are too busy or callous to notice that it needs care or that it needs help. I can't imagine living in a world where this level of cruelty and indifference can exist without some karmic consequence.
Shame on the people who buy creatures on a whim and then can't be bothered to research and provide the things that it needs to be comfortable, happy and flourish. Shame on the pet stores and reptile stores that continue to make a dollar selling reptiles that they cannot explain the proper care of. And shame on the breeders who think they can make a fast buck breeding dragons and keeping them in poor conditions.
I keep saying if I see another bearded dragon breeder with a garden thermometer stuffed in the corner of a viv I am going to.....what.....? What can I do? You try to educate people and they won't listen. Is it really that much to buy an accurate digital thermometer with hygrometer and monitor your dragons temps and humidity? Is that too much to ask? Or is it too much to give them a safe and clean substrate? Evidently it is. Breeders are supposed to be the example, the teachers, the leaders of the industry. I see so many crimes of people who call themselves breeders.
And what of the reptile wholesalers and flippers that I see at ReptiCON with unhealthy dragons who are cold and miserable, clearly dehydrated and not fit to be sold. And you mention that to them at their table and they have the nerve to brush you off as if you are bothering them. They can't even be bothered to give the animals they have for sale decent conditions. I was at ReptiCON Savannah, GA this past weekend and saw one of the reptile sellers with two adult dragons and three turtles in a 10 gallon tank together and the turtles were scratching and clawing at the face of one dead looking dragon, trying to climb over the top of it. I ask the man if the dragon is alive and he says 'Yep' and can't be bothered to speak to me. He didn't even look at the dragon. He made me sick, and I felt sick at ReptiCON for not monitoring the health of the dragons for sale there. Fully dehydrated monitors barely moving in one room and dead dragons in another, and everyone laughing and talking as if this was the greatest social event. I left nauseated.
I hope for every sin against these reptiles there is some payment in the end of it all. Maybe St. Peter will have this on the list - cruelty to animals should get you some serious time in purgatory. These dragons can't help themselves. They can't turn up the heat or hunt their own bugs. All they can do is lay at your mercy hoping you will take the time to care.
What of it? What can you do to change this? Is there anyone out there who sees what I see? Is there anyone who cares? Is there anyone who will take the time to speak up?
RIP Rocky and Felix. I will speak up.