Local Rescue is Freezing Old/Sick Bearded Dragons...

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Over the weekend we went into town to a gals house to purchase a bunch of mealworms, the lady ended up not being able to be there so she had her husband come home to give us the worms and show us how hers were set up. (As I am startign my own colony) He took us through a crowded small town house with 4 kids, 5 dogs, into a tiny basement room where she apparently runs her reptile 'rescue' out of. There were mostly shelves with drawers and snakes in them, a few chameleons one of which had a huge eye abcess, and then on the far wall were some dirty tanks with bad lighting and sick looking beardies. The one on the bottom looked at deaths door, or close to it, all were scrawny. However I dont like to judge people so I kept telling myself that they were probably rescues she was nursing back to health.

During our conversation with her husband he mentions that when they get beardies that are old or too sick to help, they simply stick them in a bucket, put them in a freezer, and they 'go to sleep'. I've never heard of this before, is there any way this is humane? I would imagine that they can feel themselves freezing to death before it knocks them into brumation...Should I report them? I dont like meddling in other peoples affairs but I dont like seeing animals mistreated either. they are a so called rescue...in my eyes that means they should be giving these animals the best life they can even if its just making them comfortable until they pass. I don't know how anyone could stand by as they froze an animal....if they were a rescue they could do fundraisers, sign them over to a shelter/vet office, or get an arrangement with a vet office to put them down at low cost....

So the question remains, should I report them? If so, who to? :?
 

Taterbug

BD.org Addict
Freezing alone is not an acceptable or humane method if euthanasia. It is considered animal abuse akin to torture by several veterinary groups. Lethal injection and pithing /brain destruction I believe are the only acceptable methods.

They don't sound legit to me, I would consider reporting them especially since they claim to be a rescue. I don't like getting in other folks business either but the freezing in a bucket sounds appalling. If they are legitimate they should be able to pass any inspection or follow ups needed to provide adequate care for the animals they have. Not to mention they should have access to appropriate euthanasia techniques.

Freezing reptiles slows them down, and you would hope that their brain function slows or stops so they don't feel the pain of freezing/asphyxiation. Instead it's likely they are still mentally aware/alert and they still feel the pain and are simply immobilized by the cold.
 
:angry5: This makes me so mad, that is not a rescue center that is death valley, if where the animals are staying is not clean/kept up then someone needs to be called
 

SkeptiBee

Hatchling Member
Taterbug is spot on. These people need to be reported. If you are curious to know what your state laws are regarding animal euthanasia, you can read a summary found at this link here: https://www.avma.org/Advocacy/StateAndLocal/Pages/euthanasia-laws.aspx
The PDF is towards the bottom of the summary.

What they are doing is wrong. I quickly scanned through the document and while states vary a lot on who is permitted to euthanize animals, the consensus remains pretty firm that the only humane method is administering sodium pentobarbital. Some states do allow them to be gassed via carbon monoxide, but those are fairly small.

I understand people want to do something positive but rescuing and treating animals comes with responsibility. Either these people have no idea what the law is or they don't want to pay to have the animals euthanized. Freezing them is straight up animal cruelty and needs to be reported.
 

Realcaos

Member
i agree that its wrong on many levels. for any animal. i believe you should do some research and find out who to report them to. maybe start with your local animal control to find out. or maybe a local vet.
 
This is horrible :angry5: I would imagine that freezing to death is a long torturous death. No living creature should be forced to go through this, especially by a so called animal "rescuer". Many people essentially collect reptiles and call it rescue to justify it. Have they been reported yet?
 

ShelbyLu

Hatchling Member
Um you absolutely without a doubt should report them! If you call the Animal control they will check them out. Some animal control places care about reptiles more than others, but ours here is really good.

Those animals would be taken away. I had a gecko dying that was too small to get an IV and so I researched freezing her as a human option and learned that is is NOT because the cyrstalization process hurts them. Some people refrigerate them first to put them in a "coma" and then do it, but this isn't much better.

Honestly, as someone who is getting a home reptile rescue off the ground, I can tell you that it is absolutely a LOT of work and a big commitment and no one should do it unless they have the means to euthanize if necessary by paying to have it done.

Please report them. What state are you in? Maybe we could get other rescues to take the animals that the animal control takes away because the humane society really doesn't know what to do with reptiles and often euthanizes them.

Here in MN, the animal control surrenders any reptiles they seize to the Minnesota Herpetological society and we take care of them. Last month we even had a baby alligator brought to us that a kid ordered online and was hiding in his room until his mom found it!!!

Can you imagine? lol

~Shelby
 

Firebonbon

Hatchling Member
Gosh, I cringed. How could anyone think this was okay? I'm going to go snuggle with my beardie now.... <:(
 
I remember reading about freezing in REPTILES magazine. Apparently, it forms ice crystals in the brain, which, obviously, is excruciatingly painful. You should definitely call the police or animal control
 

SimoneV

Member
omg :( those poor beardies!

Freezing is by far the most painful way! All the cells explode etc...
The argument i hear most is: but they are cold blooded and the sleep in first....

Well i just can't believe it. you have to feel pain in a freezer and cold :( goddammit i get so angry reading these kind of things , no matter what animal!!
 
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