This matter is now a criminal investigation.
I don't normally like to do this sort of thing but I simply cannot sit idly by when something this horrific and unjustifiable happens - especially at a reptile show. And even more when we actually had the Reptile Rescue, Canada display there.
Yesterday a group of individuals were seen walking around the show with a 3.5ft light coloured iguana with them. Shortly thereafter, an individual came inside and approached us saying they spotted some people pitching this iguana over the fence behind the venue - into the bushes right by the rail track. These people then proceeded to walk away towards the apartment buildings behind the venue.
I went outside with this witness, hurdled the fence and sure enough the iguana was still there. I scooped her up and brought her inside - she has what appears to be a thermal burn on her neck, a thermal burn on the back thigh and previously healed burns on her back. She was exceptionally calm and friendly.
Due to a lack of funding and increased demand I simply did not have any more space available here to take in another iguana and unfortunately no one at the show was able to assist in the matter - since it was mentioned to us that it was unlikely the SPCA would do anything at that time. After talking to the SPCA this morning however, there was a lot that could have been done at the time.
Fortunately a friend of mine had made it to the show and is able to properly house the iguana and we can now begin veterinary treatment.
<strong>Cruelty to and abandonment of any animal in the region of Peel is a criminal offense. We have been in contact the Peel division of the O.S.P.C.A. (among other authorities) and this is now a criminal invesigation. If convicted and found guilty of cruelty/abandoment in Peel, individuals face:
- up to 6 months in prison
- up to $2000 in fines
- prohibition from owning or having custody or control of an animal for a given time period up to 2 years</strong>
There was an immediate witness to the disposal of the iguana itself and we would appreciate it if they could contact us again so we can forward the information to the investigators. We would also appreciate it if anyone else with any further information (since a fair amount of people at the show know or saw these people) could either contact us with this information or contact the investigating officer at the Peel Division of the OSPCA. This individual can be reached at 1-888-668-7722.
We would greatly appreciate any information that anyone might have regarding this incident. We are absolutely stunned, disgusted and devastated by what happened at such a venue (or any where for that matter) - there is no excuse for actions like this - this is animal cruelty - plain and simple. There were other options available than disposing of an iguana like that! No one can give me a good enough reason to justify doing that - no excuse whatsoever.
We would like to thank those few people at the show who actually stood up to help us at the time in trying to find these people and for trying to find a place to temporarily house the iguana - those people that were actually concerned about the iguana itself. We greatly appreciate that and I don't think we had a chance to thank you directly at the time given the nature of the situation at hand.
But as noted already, this is a criminal investigation and any information that you might have to offer would be greatly appreciated. Hopefully this will prevent others from doing the same thing. We have seen all too often what happens to those reptiles that are abandoned outside like this - they are rarely found and saved in time.
Feel free to contact:
Reptile Rescue, Canada
Thank you and hopefully this matter can be solved and does NOT happen again.
Reptile Rescue, Canada