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Emergency Alert !!!!!! Hundreds of reptiles all malnurished

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Posted by KLorentz on May 09, 2003 at 12:10:50:

The following is a repost with the permission of Lori Green .
PLEASE HELP any way you can .

Kevin Lorentz

Founder : National Amphibian and Reptile Owners Alliance

Tri State Reptile Rescue

To date we have gotten out 29 turtles (a baby map and baby snapper
along with 5 iguanas thanks to the Connecticut Iguana Sanctuary (AJ
Fighting back the tears she begged for several more but the workers
allow it. There isn't a plump lizard or snake in the place. It is
hell. The
animals are sentenced to slow death and those who make it out only
so when
they die or they get so sick that the owner gives them up to rescues
in lew
of paying vet bills. The SPCA doesn't know what to do anymore. The
system is failing us. They keep postponing the hearings so this
monster will
go on for months killing the animals. He doesn't pay for food. The
bring in what scraps they can find in dumpsters or they spend their
money. If there is no food and no volunteer the animals don't eat. I
given my reports. I have taken nearly 30 turtles out of there and
today 5
I am throwing my hands up. I don't know what to do. The SPCA is
failing and
by taking the animals I am only making room for more. He fools the
into thinking he is an adoption service and they pay him to take
animals. He either sells them or the animals are doomed to starve or
bodies rot from dirty conditions. There are hundreds of reptiles
there. They
all need help. Every expert says the same thing. They leave there
sick. The workers go home crying because they can't help them. The
guy just
hires fancy lawyers to block the SPCA from entering the building. He
has a
200 pound Aldabra in a 20x20 pen with three hundred pound sulcatas.
fight over the small heat lamps and the sulcata have diarrhea. No
is ever changed. They just scoop it up and consider that clean.
There was a
second Aldabra but it died three weeks ago. They let the body sit
until the autopsy could no longer prove cause of death. We want to
the Aldabra that is left. His name is Sam and before he meets the
same fate
as his brother we need to do something. Aldabras should not live
their lives
in 20x20 pens. They should feel the sun and taste fresh grass. Help
us help
him! Only the Reptile community can do this.

This is from AJ Gutman, Owner and president of the Conn. Iguana
Sanctuary and
the Secretary for the National Iguana Society.

The Long Island Reptile Museum is truly the stuff of nightmare. I'm
struggling to slow my breathing and stop my heart from pounding. The
houses hundreds of reptiles and amphibians and not a single one of
appeared to be receiving adequate care.

As Lori mentioned, we managed to take 5 Green Iguanas out. We were
met with
open arms by staff members and volunteers who begged us to help
them: "please
take the ones on the bottom of the cage that look like bundles of
sticks." Michael and I just finished surgery on the lower hind leg
female to remove a massive network of abscesses. The poor girl was
gaping at
me and I managed to pull a huge abscess out of the inside of her
lower jaw as
well. There are two young males who are in reasonable shape (just
aggressive). They were the ones in the unheated cage in the shop who
were for
sale. The other three are females, the biggest girl was the one with
abscesses and the smallest has that horrible kind of necrotic skin
all over her body. The other girl is the one who was left in the
unlit box in the back to die. She is horribly emaciated and
covered with burns and many of her toes are rotten and will probably
need to
be amputated. They all have mites - the bath water was running red
with them.

These are the lucky ones. As sick as they are, I can probably fix
them. The ones that will haunt me are the ones I couldn't bring
home -

endless monitors, tegus, dragons, huge glorious tortoises, gators,
imaginable. But my heart went out most to the ones I know best in
where I could easily recognize a thousand inadequacies. There were
Rhino Iguanas, survivors from a group of fourteen. The two males
constantly locking jaws, all of them were skinny; there were no
hiding spots
and the smallest female who was being chased by everybody had an
roller coaster scoliosis. She's the one who most affected me because
she was
looking at me and it seemed that she new I recognized her distress
and desperately wanted my help.

There were three Cubans - looked like two males and a female. One
fellow was
quite huge (yet clearly wasted). He must have been 15-20 years old
be that
size. There were also endless numbers of assorted and mislabeled
(that no one recognized their species was the least of their
worries). All
the Iguanas, and apparently many of the other animals as well, were
only fed
if the staff or volunteers brought in food for them. On a good day
they'd get
some light salad greens and chopped fruit - insufficient protein,
insufficient fiber. And all of the enclosures were so dreary, I
any of the bulbs were of reasonable wattage or had any UV output.

The enclosures appeared to have been well and thoughtfully designed
when the
place opened, and then not to have been maintained since then.
dysfunctional watering systems and rotting food were fairly
Alligators were lying in dry pools, as were water monitors and all
manner of
others. I've been told that conditions are much improved over what
they were
weeks ago when conditions were reported to the SPCA. The politics
legalities are complex and I can't pretend to have any grasp of how

But we need to proceed. I'll be composing an itemized report on the
Iguanas, Cyclura and Ctenosaurs for Lori to submit. I should have
photos of
the refugees soon. Any help I could get placing the two healthy boys
would be
much appreciated and would allow me to concentrate on the three sick


Lori Green
Director, Turtle Homes
Adoptions, NYTTS
#"> (The Virtual Chelonian Field

PO Box 297
Merrick NY 11566
(516) 623-3079
Eastern Standard Time
Add your link to the Turtle Homes website

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