RSPCA inspectors are invesigating after a chameleon was tied in a plastic bag, dumped and left for dead among garden waste in Hastings
The reptile was found by a St Helen’s Crescent resident on Sunday, February 14.
RSPCA inspector Zoe Ballard took it to a specialist vets for treatment but sadly nothing could be done and it was put to sleep under veterinary advice.
Inspector Ballard said: “The poor little chap was clearly very unwell and to be dumped in a bag in this cold weather is completely unreasonable and inhumane.
“Like many other reptiles, chameleons cannot regulate their own body temperature so rely on the environment they are in.
“They are also very susceptible to infection and they are more at risk when placed into a dank environment.”
The chameleon was dumped outside in freezing temperatures.
“This is a terrible thing to do to any animal but it is particularly harmful for a chameleon as they are very sensitive and will suffer when placed in an incorrect environment,” Inspector Ballard said.
“The fact that he could not be saved is evidence of that.”
“It is upsetting that this poor chameleon was so ill there was nothing that could be done for him.
“It is a possibility that the owners took on this animal but were unable to provide the care he needs and decided to dump him.
“We are urging potential owners to thoroughly research what is required in the care of any animal before taking one on.”
The RSPCA is experiencing widespread neglect and abandonment of exotic animals across England and Wales and every year the charity takes thousands of calls from members of the public about exotic pets; the number involving reptiles in particular has been steadily rising.
In 2015, the RSPCA received 4,990 calls about reptiles – a 37 per cent increase from ten years ago.
“Potential owners need to make sure they can give their animal the environment it needs and they have the facilities, time, financial means and long-term commitment to maintain a good standard of care.”
The animal welfare charity is now appealing for anyone with information about how the chameleon may have ended up dumped among the garden rubbish to contact the RSPCA Inspectorate Appeal Line in confidence on 0300 123 8018 and leave a message for inspector Ballard.
The RSPCA is a charity and rely on public donations to exist.
To assist inspectors in carrying out their vital work text HELP to 78866 to give £3 (Texts cost £3 + one standard network rate message).
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