Leatherback maybe? starving beardie for sale on craigslist?!?!?

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So I found this dragon for sale on craigslist, (where I found most all my pets) :woman_shrugging:
looks like a silky, definitely malnourished, I wanna ask more about the dragon. comes with setup all for $75. is it worth the time asking? might have some good genetics, might not. I can’t stand to see an animal in pain or in bad conditions. If its a female, I will almost definitely want it, if its male, I may get the poor thing more healthy then rehome it again to a responsible family. What do you all think?


I wouldn’t pay for him, that’s reinforcing the behavior. I would either report the ad to craigslist or try and talk the person into giving me just the dragon for free. I don’t think it’s to the point where you’d get any traction with reporting the poster to local animal cruelty authorities, but you could try.


I agree with @mblaney on this one. On top of just not wanting to give them money for abusing their animals, you never know if that beardie is sick at this point. You could get it and you never know what could be wrong with it since it has been neglected so much. If they won’t give you it for free, then just leave them with it. It may suck, but you don’t want to encourage future abuse. Instead, consider adopting from a shelter that could use the money for good things.

If you do get it for free though, keep it far away from any of your other animals. Wash your hands/slather yourself in hand sanitizer after messing with it.


From the rescue standpoint $75 could turn into $750 vet bill that’s always the risk you are taking.

From the breeding standpoint I am a firm believer in selective breeding for any species, any breeding program should be started on strong foundations and not craigslist rejects. Additionally what if it is a female and she is no longer in her prime to breed.

Breeding is about pairing best example of animals you can find not the cheapest you can find.

Breeding animals that are subpar with unknown genetics will only lead to more of the same which makes them a lot harder to find home for quickly.


Everyone has good points but I would rescue the poor dragon. It is hard for me to see individual animals as a big picture and that poor beardy needs a break. (I stay away from Craig’s list for this very reason.)


Definitely appears to be a leatherback that is malnourished/dehydrated. My personal opinion in this circumstance… It depends on your funding and size of your heart. While not purchasing the animal does helps in reenforcing the issue of improper care, I tend to lean to the side that it is not the animal’s fault that the person keeping it freakin sucks!! I would adopt and provide a better quality of life. Just remember though… this is a rabbit hole, and you CAN NOT save them all… but if this particular animal is in your means, and in your budget, and your intentions are in the right place… I say go for it. Save the animal and do right by it.

But as others have mentioned, keep in mind that you don’t know the exact heath of this animal, and it may have underlying health issues. Just be prepared to make big/costly decisions.

Also, this tank he is in is NOT the correct set up at all. (lighting, UVB distance, basking spot, substrate, temps, hides…) so if you plan on continuing to use it, please do your research and provide the correct husbandry for a beardie.

Good Luck!


i emailed the person and asked about age gender and “health concerns” just in case the person is a real noob and does not know his/her beardie is obviously unhealthy. I also might try and get the beardie to better shape and rehome him/her for about $100 maybe $150.

(i have correct substrate and lighting and terrariums. mine are all ten gallons sadly, but my beardies spend most of their daytime hanging out in our house.)

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I think that after I get gender and age, I will decide if I will try and lower the price or if I will just not get the poor creature. It’s really hard for me not to take in hurt and starving creatures and I have to remind myself to not let it become an unhealthy habit… Will message again when the person replies. thank you all so much for your help!

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10 gallon tanks are hardly big enough for hatchling beardies, let alone an adult for any period of time. They need extremely high temps and having them away from those temps for the mass majority of their life is asking for health issues. A 10 gallon isn’t even 2 feet long, and beardies can get longer than the tank. A 10 gallon also won’t give them a large enough hide, climbing and basking spot, or temperature gradient. The minimum for a single beardie is 75 gallons. Larger tanks are recommend though.

Also what you are considering doing for that animal is what I call “flipping”. You rescue an animal to make profit out of it despite not knowing its genetics or if it is truly healthy. Especially since it is unlikely you will be taking it to the vet to get hundreds of dollars of tests run. Adoption fees for animals like this are around $50-60 for a reason.


got a reply on email. it was already bought

You may mean well, but there is a very fine line between a “rehabilitation” and flipping.

This would not be the best place to admit to being a flipper and be welcomed.

I definitely understand the sick feeling of seeing an animal that hasn’t been treated well but if your reaction to that is I should take it in then re sell it I would question ones motives.


Now you know.

Mistreated animals should not be a side gig for you to make a buck.

A rescue is different I think we would all applaud it…I think you mean well but I would encourage you to think the whole thing through a little more extensively


I have a limited budget and do what I can (including letting my dragons have the run of the house and letting them into a pen in the yard). I hope I can get better at this. (that’s why I signed up to morph market in the first place)

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I can definitely respect that. And probably seem a bit harsh, not meaning to attack you. You probably do have good intentions. I guess the fact would be obviously having a pet in the first place is a financial commitment.

Not everyone can afford the same type of pets or providing the same care, and all that. But keeping pets is a privilege not a right, and we all should only take on what we are capable of caring for properly.

I suppose someone could dive deeper into the morality of “rehabilitation vs flipping,” I just have my reaction to it.


thanks for all the tips. I hope I can become a better owner and give my dragons the home they deserve. do you have any tips on how I can make money with reptiles? I am working on earning more money to go to college, get a house, etc…

when i saw all the great deals on craigslist, i figured that was my best bet with reptiles since i don’t want to be a serious breeder. maybe have a clutch once or twice and sell the babies as pets to responsible homes but nothing serious.

I would say drive DoorDash a couple nights a week.

There is no “quick buck” to be had with reptiles that will make your life significantly better. A profit comes with a lot of time, effort, work, and money invested into the hobby.


thx for the tip. I will look into that!

For me since I have snakes, I have been working on collecting sheds to make jewelry from. I will sell them once I get enough. That will mainly just fund food for them and cover some vet stuff if needed.


You’re welcome.

If you’re passionate about reptiles I would never tell someone to not get involved but at your stage in life you’re very unlikely to make college money off craigslist animals. Better to keep pets and learn about them, someday when you have the time and money to start up something like breeding bear dies ok the side etc you’ll be able to do it right. Good luck!

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