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As you look for a new home for your iguana, you are faced with the difficulty of finding a good, responsible, forever home for your pet. In order to help determine who would make the best owner for your iguana, we have created this guide. Contained within the guide are questions that should be asked of the potential adopter. Some questions have a definite answer and are easy to work into your decision to adopt to that person. Other questions do not have a simple answer, and take more consideration in the adoption process. Included with each question is some brief information on what you should look for in the way a potential adopter answers. You can use the form as is, or you can modify it to suit your needs.

If you do not own your residence, are pets allowed in your lease? If not on the lease, do you have written permission from the landlord allowing you to have an iguana?

Always make sure that the prospective adopter, if they rent, can have the iguana in the residence. You may want to request a copy of the lease that states they can have pets, or get a letter from the landlord saying it is okay. This helps prevent your iguana from being dumped if the landlord finds out it is in the rental when it should not have been there.

Do you have room for a lizard that can be six feet long, and do you have room for a habitat, enclosure or cage large enough to accommodate the iguana?

Make sure that the habitat, enclosure or cage the iguana will be living in is big enough before you relinquish the iguana. If the prospective adopter wants to allow the iguana to free roam, make sure they understand the risks, particularly in a part of the country where it gets cold and it is hard to heat an entire house to the appropriate temperatures.

Do you have enough time to spend with the iguana?

Ideally, one should spend at least a half an hour a day with the iguana to keep it tame (or to work on taming it). This is in addition to the time spent buying food, cleaning cages, preparing food, etc.

Are you willing to find and pay for a veterinarian that is skilled with reptiles?

An iguana owner should be willing to make the effort to find a good vet for the iguana, even if it means driving for an hour to get there. If the prospective adopter doesn't feel a vet is necessary, then you may want to reconsider this person.

Iguanas are expensive. Are you willing to pay for fresh food that can be expensive in the winter, building or buying a suitable habitat or enclosure, light fixtures, heating devices, proper light bulbs that need to be replaced every six months, vitamins, etc?

If the prospective adopter seems to be reluctant to pay for the basic need of the iguana, then they may not be a good person to adopt to.

Do you have any experience with iguanas?

Experience helps, of course. However, do not turn down a prospective adopter because they do not have prior experience. Someone who has researched iguanas, spent time with them, understands the needs and the care involved, can make a very good owner even if they have never had one before. It just depends on the feeling you get from the adopter.

How much research have you done about iguanas? What can you tell me about the care that they need, and special issues you need to be concerned about?

You want your prospective adopter to be well prepared to bring an iguana into their home. They should be able to tell you what an iguana eats, what temperatures it needs, what foods it should avoid, if it needs UVB exposure or not, and other aspects of iguana care. They do not need to know every little thing, but should know the important issues. If they seem to have little or no knowledge about iguanas and iguana care, they still may be good candidates for adoption, if you show them where to start learning.

Do you have kids or other household pets?

Acclimating an iguana to a new home is stressful and difficult enough, but dealing with and acclimating an iguana to kids and other pets can be even more difficult and time consuming. Make sure the potential adopters are aware of the issues involved with having iguanas with younger children in the home, including Salmonella issues.

In the event that you will be away from home, will you be able to make arrangements with someone to take care of your iguana while you're away?

Finding a reliable person to take care of an iguana can be difficult and you may want to make sure the potential adopters are aware of this, especially if they seem to be the type of people that are away from home on a regular basis.

What are your expectations of my iguana?

A prospective adopter shouldn't expect the iguana to be perfectly calm, potty trained, follow them like a dog or do tricks. They should expect that the iguana will not necessarily settle down right away, might have messed up eating/potty habits due to the change, may be difficult to handle, etc. It is up to you, the owner, to ensure that the prospective adopter realizes this before you relinquish your iguana.

What if the iguana doesn't meet the adopter's expectations?

Hopefully you would have made sure the prospective adopter was prepared to take your iguana. If they do take it and find out that it is more than they can handle, then ideally you, the owner, would take it back and find a better home for it.


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