Acquired: Rescue / shelter organization
By Daphne Petty
Brandon, Florida, United States
Posted Dec 28, 2018
Iggy was never part of our family's plan. I remember coming home from school one day and walking into the house and coming face to face with a full grown iguana.... well, a fully grown iguana who was missing half his tail and a lot of his spikes.
My mom's workmate knew our family had always loved animals and told her about her brothers iguana that she felt was being neglected. My mom went with the intentions of taking him to a shelter and left with him instead. His owner was a teenage boy who had gotten his license and was no longer interested in him. His cage was too small, he was feeding him noting but pebble food so he was extremely malnurished, and the one time he had let him out of his cage he was attacked by a cat and lost part of his tail and several spikes. My mom said she started crying the moment she saw him and that's how we ended up with our first lizard.
Within days we moved our kitchen table into the garage and built him an enclosure that was about 5'2x10 square foot and it was epic. He had shelves to climb on, heat lamps, real plants, etc. Basically Iguana paradise and then he thrived. He gained weight and started to enjoy life again, though he still carried his scars from his past. He hated the color red, if you wore red he'd get upset but if my brother - who at the time was a teenage boy - he would get angry and spit at him.
Normally, he was rather well tempered, though he wasn't crazy about being handled. My dad or mom usually handled him but he'd let us kids touch him as well. He loved just running around the house or outside and he lived a great life until he finally passed.
Even despite his rough upbringing he was still a wonderful pet. He did require a lot, a fresh diet, a large enclosure and plenty of patience. I like to think that iguanas are wonderful pets, but they need to be treated with the utmost care and kindness. They're not for causal pet owners or the faint of heart. They live for a long time and they NEED attention to combat aggression.
I can't say I recommend them as a pet, unless you're truthfully prepared and ready for commitment, but if you are, you're in for a great experience.