Actually, Commah (my 10 month old Vield) came from Petsmart. He was a healthy young boy when I got him- was clear of parasites when I took him to all his vet apts! I work at the Petsmart he came from and we are achually one of the stores that take care of their Chameleons.
Now, "adopting" or picking one out that looks sick IS NOT a good idea. We often have to remind ourselves that we can not save every sick or injured Chameleon! Even as tempting as it is! If the Petsmart near you is like mine, they will be resonsible and take that "sick" or "shaky" chameleon to a vet!
DO NOT pick out a chameleon just because it is "in need". But "petsmart babies" are fine pets- just ask my healthy, and happy 10 month old baby boy!
I don't think its a bad idea, all my chameleons are from either PetCo or PetSmart. I used to work at PetSmart and I can honestly say that PetSmart does a crappy job compared to Petco in taking care of there chameleons. The ones at my store are just in awful shape. There has been one at mine for I think 3 months now and it is a male Veiled and he takes up over a 1/3rd of the cage he is so big. But really it depends on the store. I know when I worked there I was besides one other person who actually cared about them versus selling them to clueless people. But really if the chameleon looks good, I wouldn't hesitate, just go with your best judgment and you'll be fine
I am against buying anything from a store that keeps animals in poor conditions/mistreats them. Buying anything from the store just puts money in their pockets to help kill or mistreat more animals. Buying any animal that is sick just shows the store that there is a market for mistreated animals and the animals will sell no matter how they treat them.
I just bought (and had to return) a Jackson cham from Petsmart recently. She had an infection that the employees had not recognized. She is now in their vet's care, but I don't think I will be buying her back.
I'd recommend supporting a good breeder if you are able to, as opposed to a pet store. They are often more expensive than a breeder, anyhow. (the pet store cham cost me $10 more than one from breeder might be)
You may be able to find a 100% healthy cham a pet store, but not all chams in the chained pet stores are going to be healthy and buying one supports the sale of all.
I agree with the other members on this...As sad as it is, if you buy a sick cham, it's only supporting the neglect from the pet store. Not saying all pet stores neglect them, but most people who work there don't have the knowledge needed to properly care for them.
I went to another Petsmart nearby and the chameleon looked way healthier, I think I'll get that one. I'm probably not going to buy online because of the shipping fee and I might not be home when it gets here.
To be honest, from what the petsmarts charge around here at least, it is cheaper to buy a veiled baby from online, even with the shipping charges. The veileds I have seen have usually been priced at $110 or even more, but online you can get a very healthy, well bred individual for, usually, less than $100 shipped depending on who you buy from.
Eh, I just don't like buying anything from petsmart or petco because of the poor care that the majority of the stores give to the animals. Have you checked your local craigslist for any? Sometimes you can get whole set ups and a chameleon for a really good price, especially if you have some patience.
To be honest if your looking on just the money part you might not want to get a Cham they do cost a lot in upkeep. Me I would rather pay alittle more knowing I'm getting a healthy and well taken care of Cham. If you think in the long run you might save money on buying him but he might not live as long or be as healthy. That's just my option