Iguana Found Wandering in Pasadena Gets New Home

Found astray, large female iguana is cared for and adopted out by Pasadena Humane Society

Published : Thursday, August 23, 2018 | 5:23 AM

A five-foot-long female iguana recently found astray in Pasadena and dropped off at the Pasadena Humane Society by a Good Samaritan has been adopted after spending two weeks at the animal shelter and now is enjoying a new life at a home in San Bernardino.

Humane Society staff said the full-grown iguana could have run off from her owners, or could have been let it go by its former owner hoping it would survive in the wild. That can happen when a pet owner who doesn’t know much about the species acquires a baby iguana and then later finds himself dealing with a large adult reptile with more complicated needs.

“People don’t realize that when they get a small Iguana, they’re ultimately going to be really large and that’s one of the challenges of keeping those kinds of animals,” Julie Bank, President and CEO of the Pasadena Humane Society, said. “People get them because they think they’re cute and then they haven’t taken the time to learn about them, including how big they’re going to get and what kind of enclosure they need. It happens a lot with a lot of animals like that.”

Emily Wood, PHS Director of Placement and Customer Care, said a good Samaritan picked up the iguana, which they named Daenerys, and brought her to the shelter two weeks ago.

“She was a little bit heavy, but she’s a very friendly Iguana,” Wood said. “She’s very sociable, which is really great. Sometimes we get Iguanas in here that are full-sized adults that people purchased when they were much smaller and don’t socialize them well. They can be very strong and a little bit scary when they get that large and they’re not particularly social. This one happened to be a very big cuddle bug.”

Wood said a couple who has an outdoor aviary in their home and indoor space with proper heating and a UV lamp saw the iguana as a perfect fit for their home and adopted her.

Bank, who has a bearded dragon, another reptile, said people who are looking at acquiring exotic animals such as the iguana should be aware of laws that say which animals can be legally owned in California, and which are prohibited.

But more importantly, she said they should also do research before adopting pets like the iguana.

“There are some animals, for example, that you can’t have, like you can’t own a rattlesnake or you need certain permits to own certain types of animals,” Bank said. “We and the other animal organizations out there regularly end up at homes where people have animals that legally they can’t have, that’s regulated by fish and wildlife related by permit. So you need to know where you’re getting that animal from and also whether you are legally allowed to have it before you get it.”

Bank said pet owners should also know what to do when caring for their exotic pets become too complicated for them to handle.

“So if you are going to have to have one of these more exotic animals that you have gotten adopted or even purchased at a pet store, you need to make sure that you’re not releasing them out,” Bank said. “You have to take it to a place where they’re going to be able to continue care and take care of them.”

On its website, the Pasadena Humane Society keeps an updated list of pets that have been found astray and are ready for adoption. People who are looking to adopt, or may have lost their pets and are looking for them can check the page at www.pasadenahumane.org/adopt/view-pets/#/.

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