Pet Therapy


Friendly Grasshopper
so my gf is the cooridantor of volunteer services at a local retirement centre and they have a pet therapy programe day each month. well i threw out the idea of me bringing in my chams as a presentation, and they have agreed and accually had a huge responce from the residents and staff. i am planning on taking my lil guy camo as he is the most chill cham ever, and possibly my juvi nosy be as hes getting much more confident.. i am planning on showing afew min, of the "chams of madagascar" dvd and a show and tell with the chams. no contact with the chams other then myself to minimize stress, but still should be interesting. im wondering if anyone has any ideas of anything to include in my time.
anything to stimulate the residents is good and i think chams can and will be a hit.. and hey its only a few hours of my time to help out
ill be sure to take some pics



New Member
I think it's awesome that you are doing this! You may have already thought of this but maybe bring some crickets or worms to let them see the chams grabbing the food or see if one of the residents might want to feed one. It would be a way to involve them but not handle the cham itself. Maybe bring one of the big tweezers to hold the worm or cricket in case they are squeamish about touching them. Have fun!!


New Member
I think this is a really great opportunity-how exciting. I used to be a volunteer docent (teacher) at two different zoos where I handled a boa constrictor. What I told people was the general stuff-how big they got, what they ate, where they lived, etc. You can apply the same info to your presentation. I'd educate them about color changing-people think you put a cham on piece of plaid material and it will turn plaid and blend in perfectly..The things that we like about chameleons-their eyes, tails, legs, etc are all interesting. I'd educate them about just what goes into keeping chameleons-their requirements for light, etc. I hope this helps. Good luck and have fun-showing the dvd is a great idea.


Staff member
Wow how great of you to do this!! That's a very neat thing to be able to be a part of and I'm sure the citizens will really love it. Sounds like you have a good gameplan and will do wonderfully. Good luck and let us know how it goes! :)


wow hoj thats very neat! Only thing Ive ever done with the retirement center is played my Oboe in band XD Wed play once a year aroudn christmas tiem for them. =p


New Member
sounds like a great ideal. do remember to remind anyone handling the chameleon (or befor you shake hands/eat ect) to wash thier hands. as I'm sure you know any reptile can cary salmonella

salmonella normally wouldn't do much more than making a healthy adult sick, but it can be really bad on childern or older people (of course not all lizards will have it, but better safe than sorry)


Established Member
GET OUT OF MY HEAD! I am planning to do the same exact thing at my office and one of the nursing homes I work at. I actually just set up the nursing home date today. My agency works with people with disabilities, so we have people who live in the community who come into the office for events and my department works with people who live in nursing homes. I was also planning to show a little of the "Chameleons of Madagascar" DVD and I was going to bring my 2 friendly chams as well as some of my geckos. I'm working on putting together an outline of what I'm going to present, so if you would like, I can somehow share this with you Hoj (as well as anyone else who is interested).



Retired Moderator
i did this for years at schools. Once I got to this tiny town in Montana, I found kids and even teachers who had never seen a live chameleon. Before I stopped keeping bearded dragons and uromastix I also took both of those for the kids to hold and play with. That is a large part of what most of this town call me the lizard lady. I have people walk up to me all time in places like Walmart and say hey you are the lizard lady. It makes me happy as I know they remember meeting my critters.
I will be amazed you you don't have an even better response at a nursing home. I never thought of that but they get a lot less variety offered to them. What you are doing is wonderful. Take all the chams you have and enjoy along with the people.


Friendly Grasshopper
thx so much everyone, its funny since my gf started telling people at the retirement center the responce had been overwhelming, some staff are giong to be coming in on their day off and bringing thier kids, and even the normal pet therapy lady who was supposed to be enjoying a day off from bringing in her dogs is planning on coming in, to see the chams
it will be nice to show of my chams and the happiness they can bring, as well as a little education.


New Member
Is the retirement center in Orangeville?
I may be able to help if it fits my schedule.
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