It has been my observation and experience that, in general, the "authorities" don't take cruelty to reptiles with the same seriousness as mammals.
I have a Prehensile tailed skink that was a pet shop rescue and just this week, I went in to the same pet shop to find baby beardies dead in the bottom of thier enclosure, with their cage mates climbing all over the dead bodies, a baby chameleon so small that it could fit easily on a quarter, being kept with crickets as big as him. His eyes were shut, and his ribs...as big as a strand of hair showing through his skin.
And then I saw this:
I was absolutely horrified at the state of this chameleon. He was very obviously near death, but still out there in his display case, for all to see.
I asked if I could have him, and the "reptile girl" asked me if I had anything to house him in. I assured her I did, and she replied with "he's yours". No further questions asked of me....but every question I asked of her was met with "I don't know".
I don't know how old he is. I don't know how he got that hole in his chin. I don't know how long he's had it...he came to us like that.
I brought him home, gave him some really diluted repti-aide, and a gave him a warm soft shower to help with his hydration...and then I told him it was okay for him to stop fighting. He was home, and he could die now.
As sappy as that sounds, it's what I did. The little bugger didn't quit fighting that night though. He was still hanging on in the morning, and when I got his mouth open to get some more nutrition into him, I got a good look inside his mouth.
That hole went right through to the inside. Most of his bottom jaw consisted of decaying tissue.
At that time, I made the decision to take him to the vet and have him euthanised. I could not sit back and watch him suffer any longer.
The vet agreed that it was the only solution for him in his terrible condition and that a recovery was not a realistic possibility.
After all of that.... the pet shop will fill "Chancey's" cage with a new reptile....and the process will start again.
My vet has called the humane society on this shop herself at least three times that I know of...and nothing is done.
It's pitiful. It's disgusting.... and it doesn't seem likely to change anytime soon.
Sorry for the long winded rant...it's my frustration that's causing me to rant and rave about it.