Bearded dragon stuffed in shoebox discovered near Sidmouth play area
PUBLISHED: 15:38 19 February 2019 | UPDATED: 14:43 20 February 2019
A bearded dragon was stuffed in a shoebox and dumped near a Sidmouth playground in what one vet has branded as an 'appalling' act of cruelty.
The lizard was discovered in the box at the Stowford Rise play area, near the town’s Waitrose store, on Monday (February 18).
The reptile is currently in the care of Jurassic Vets and is doing well.
Lisa, the vet’s practice manager, said: “A lady brought him into us and said she was walking by the playground when she saw the shoebox.
“She thought it was unusual for it to be there and had a look inside and found a little bearded dragon.”
The lizard is currently being cared for by Lisa, who intends to give it a permanent home unless someone claims him within seven days.
She has also reported the incident to the RSPCA.
Lisa said: “It’s obviously an act of cruelty.
“Whether people are ‘reptile people’ or not, it’s absolutely appalling that someone can throw away an animal like this.”
Lisa said the incident has happened just a year after two other pets were dumped in Sidmouth.
A passer-by was shocked to discover two baby ferrets in a shoebox which was sealed up with gaffer tape outside Lidl, in Woolbrook Road.
The ferrets were found in February last year.
Lisa said: “A member of the public found the box in a bag.
“We thought it contained kittens or puppies, so it was quite a shock when we opened it up and found the ferrets.
“What’s worse, the box was found near the river so it could have quite easily been thrown in.”
Lisa, who also rehomed the ferrets, believes the lizard could have been dumped after its owner failed to sell it.
She added: “I would certainly say if anyone is struggling with their pets, don’t just dump them.
“There are so many rescue centres out there.
“Lots of people have already come to us and said they could rehome the lizard.
“I think people to try to sell them [their pets] and when they can’t, they dump them.
“There is no need - they may as well give them to someone.”
Anyone who has any information about the bearded dragon has been asked to contact Jurassic Vets on 01395 208620.