There are many blogs on the forum about chameleon care, breeding, gutloading etc. I thought possibly a rescue/rehabilitation might be useful to some members who may be considering these heart wrenching journeys.
Rescuing any animal is a very time consuming, expensive and often heartbreaking experience. This is especially true when rescuing chameleons. There are a few factors to consider before committing to any rescue.
1. Do you have the money available to fund vet visits, supplies, an enclosure, food and any other miscellaneous items they might require?
2. Do you have the time it takes to rehabilitate this animal? Each species requires a different amount of care, time and patience. Are you able to be home with them when they need you?
3. Do you know anything about the particular species you are wanting to obtain? Do you know what type of enclosure, temperatures, humidity, lighting, food etc. that they will need? Do you know the basic warning signs this animal may display when in duress?
4. Are you ok with the idea that all your efforts may end in death or an animal who is permanatly handicapped and needs daily assistance eating, drinking, defacating etc.?
5. Do you have a quiet space that is away from other animals? This would be a quarantine space.
6. If the animal is wild such as a baby bird or baby mammal, do you need a license to rehabilitate it? Do you have a way and a place to release it safely back into the wild? Most baby birds and mammals need lessons from there parents in order to know proper foods to eat, what predators to look out for and even to fly. These are difficult things to replicate in captivity.
There are also multiple other things to consider before rescuing any critter. The size the animal may reach when it gets to adulthood. The amount of food and space the animal will require along with regular vet visits and medications for treatments and prevention.
I have complied a small list of the bare bone basic essentials for rescue/rehabbing any critter. Most of these things I have just laying around the house, extras for when I need them.
1. Eye droppers of every size. Including baby bottles.
2. A house scale and a hand scale.
3. Towels, rags and plenty of them.
4. Heating pads.
5. Extra enclosures, carriers and even cardboard boxes.
6. Water and food dispensers and dishes.
7. For reptiles - extra lighting, plants and food.
8. For mammals - extra kitten formula, dry and wet cat and dog food.
9. For birds - Know where to find worms/grubs. Some pet stores sell worms and you can get them from bait and tackle shops.
These are the BARE MINIMUM for a rescue. There is so Much more is involved and every case is different. Do not rescue any animal that you are not willing to see through to the end of its life. There are multiple rescue organizations out there dedicated to these types of things and to specific causes. Most will not turn you away. If you do choose to get involved and find you no longer have the means to care for the animal reach out to these organizations for help. Do not be the second cause to the animals suffering. Use resources like this site to help to aid you along your journey if you choose to commit to a rescue and go down this long hard path.