Definitely support quality breeders but maybe check Craigslist first.

nathe89

Member
I adopted a veiled that couldn’t be properly cared for at the beginning of the year with no in depth knowledge of Chameleon’s myself. In the first 48 hours I had pretty much burned out my brain and bank account while absorbing all the knowledge I could to take care of the chameleon properly and ordering/building all the necessities and a lot of luxuries for my new chameleon. Since then I’ve just become fascinated with them and of course I had to get a panther chameleon now.

There are several pet shops in my area and repti-con is only a couple weeks away but I have been keeping an eye on Craigslist because through all of my learning I have noticed how many people take horrible care of these amazing animals. I stumbled across an ambilobe a little over a month ago that the person was asking more money for than you would pay to get one from a reputable breeder. I immediately contacted him to see if we could meet in the middle somewhere with no luck. I couldn’t stop thinking about the guy as I had noticed how skinny he was and other things like a small burn on his back as well as missing nails. His owner had informed he was being fed a diet of wax worms and would only drink water from his bowl. His husbandry was awful and had no real plants to keep humidity up or for him to drink dripping water off the leaves.

I kept and eye on him over the last month and contacted the seller several times via 2 different e-mails and text. My wife even contacted him at one point. He wouldn’t budge on the price and didn’t want to get rid of the chameleon alone without getting rid of all his stuff as well. Eventually he finally met in the middle and we ended up with the animal with all his old stuff.

He had plenty of space between his two enclosures but there were definitely several dangerous spots from a huge hole in the screen that was cut so he could go between the two as well as several other areas of damaged screen. He also came with plenty of vines, dome lights and a reptirain. As soon as I got home I reassembled and revamped some things in his enclosure. I added some live plants and as soon as I started misting he began drinking off the tree like a chameleon should. The reptirain thing is complete garbage in my opinion but I am waiting for nozzles for my mistking to show up today. I have been having to mist by hand as well to supplement the reptirain since it does such a terrible job and the chameleon loves it so much he will occasionally walk up to where I am misting so I can mist directly in his mouth. And no I’m not spraying with force directly in his face as I can fine tune the mist with my sprayer. This was so satisfying to watch after being told he would only drink from his water bowl.

As for the wax worms, it’s only been 2 days but I’ve managed to get him to take some Dubia Roaches and superworms so that is the start to a better diet. Hopefully I can get him to start eating a lot more and different types of feeders but I am beyond excited to get him on dubias and away from the waxworms.

Both of my chameleons lacked proper care and I definitely wasn’t properly ready to care for my first chameleon right out the gate but my veiled chameleon stole my heart, she is nothing special and I’m sure she originally came from petsmart but they all deserve a chance at a good life and now I’m spoiling the hell out of 2 chameleons and constantly building/improving upon their environments. My veiled has gone from being the sassiest animal I have ever owned to allowing me to hold her and approaching me every time I open her door. She loves to be all up in my face whenever I am working in her enclosure and it’s freaking adorable. The panther has came a long way in just 2 days and I’m sure we will establish a good relationship as well.

Maybe experienced chameleon keepers (I am by no means including myself in this group) should adopt Chams in need over purchasing top of the line ones from breeders since they are all beautiful animals is all I’m saying.

What’s the saying again:
ADOPT DON’T SHOP
 

Calypratus

Established Member
I can understand maybe experienced keepers adopting chams. but even for experts dealing with a sick cham (I assume, i'm no expert) can be difficult, you have to plan the vet visits and try to get the chameleon well again which can put a lot of stress on the owner. Assuming this the panther chameleon you're talking about has been in the current owners care for a while, he/she could have medical issues that require time and money and you might not be up to the challenge ( I know I would'nt). Just my opinion though.
 

JoXie411

Chameleon Enthusiast
I check my local Craigslist once and awhile. So many chameleons on there in my area. I actually got my female off Craigslist and it was the best thing I’ve ever done. Bring the girl away from deaths door and finally getting all her thermal burns healed was the best feeling ever. If only I had room of all the chameleons so I can rehab them then find them better owners. Worth every Penny giving them a second chance at life
 

nathe89

Member
I am lucky to be married to a vet tech so a lot of services are readily available to me but I would hope anyone who owns any type of animal for that matter would expect vet visits in their future just for the general well being of the animal.

I definitely agree this should only be for experienced keepers or people willing to try and that’s why I say that but too many chameleons die from lack of care (the forums are a poster child for this). I know many people wouldn’t be against adopting dogs and cats so why would people be averted to adopting chameleons? Especially if they are “experienced” keepers.
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
Always good to hear a story where an animal in need finds a good home. I don't think anyone is against *adoption. It's more about not supporting places like petco/petsmart that have poor animal husbandry on a corporate level.

I like the idea of an incentive for breeders that bring healthy animals into the world. IMO good breeders don't get paid enough. I'd be fine with the price on chameleons rising all around. Not always, but most of the time, the chameleons and animals with the worst husbandry, are also the cheapest.

One last thing that comes to mind is the work and money that can be involved with bringing in a sick animal. Especially the concern of spreading pathogens to the animals you already keep. It's much easier to find help and treat a sick dog or cat. A badly taken care of chameleon in a lot of cases has little chance of full recovery and it's a risk that could get all of your other reptiles sick. I, for example, don't have room to strictly quarantine a chameleon ATM. I also have enclosures that I put a great deal of time and money into. It would be a nightmare ripping everything apart. The time and money is also something I'm not able to invest ATM with 1 baby and another on the way.

So IMO it's a great thing to do, but I can get why a lot of people don't do it.
 

nathe89

Member
I understand that as well. I built a ground up enclosure for my veiled with all the fancy stuff. I also started keeping/breeding feeders. It’s a ton of work that goes into these animals but to me it is enjoyable. I work on things all day at work and love every second of it, this is no different. But maybe I get some weird enjoyment out of being active and solving problems.

As for the space, then you just can’t do it in the first place.
 

nathe89

Member
Didn’t mean to seem rude. Sorry.

Just saying for responsible owners that are considering another chameleon then you can potentially help one in need out. If space is an issue then it shouldn’t be a consideration in the first place is all. I was just agreeing with you as for the potential work involved with these guys and it’s awesome you’re husbandry is great! Keep it Up! Obviously socializing on the internet is not my thing and no offense was intended. Maybe a change of wording is all that is needed so it doesn’t seem like we are coming at each other.
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
Okay, my fault too for getting defensive. I appreciate you clearing that up. Just came off like you were saying I wasn't willing to do the work required. I wasn't against anything you said, was just giving my take on why it's not as widespread as dogs or cats
 

nathe89

Member
Totally! In the end we’re just trying to give them all the best they deserve. Even if he has some issues, it would be good to get him back to health to live out the rest of his days happily! He’s not on his death bed, just lacking proper care and they say Chams can crash easily but hopefully he will put some weight on and be a happier Cham with the husbandry and diet they all deserve.
 
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