Someone threw away their bearded dragon

Weird day! My only other time posting on this forum was telling the story of my other rescued reptile so it’s crazy that over four years later fate brought me another.

My boyfriend is a garbage man and does big rear load dumpsters. This morning, he was doing his route and dumped one, and just as he’s starting to run the arm that compresses all the trash into the body of the truck, he sees something move. He gets raccoons all the time so he (luckily!) stopped to get a closer look and found this little dude:

No box, no nothing, just picked up and thrown away. No terrarium or equipment at all that he could find, which makes us think they kept the expensive gear to resell or, worse, get a new animal. He must have only been in the dumpster for a couple of hours because he’s in great condition as far as we can tell, although he’s not eating or pooping yet and who knows what he ingested while he was in there.

We put together a temporary tank for him, did a bit of research, cleaned all the grime from the dumpster off of him, picked up some supplies, and he’s resting in a temporary 40gal while we figure out how to care for him and if we need to be worried about health issues. He was really loving the bath so I left a shallow dish big enough for him to soak in in the tank, some fresh greens, a heat lamp and a UVB lamp. So far he hasn’t eaten but he spent some time up on his log under the lamp and then came down to lay in the water and that’s where he’s been since. I’ve read excessive soaking can be a sign of an issue but I’m sure he’s quite dehydrated since it’s been well into the 90s in Colorado lately.

Advice is welcome! What to look out for, how to support his recovery, anything I can do to keep an eye out for illness or parasites. I think he’s overall looking surprisingly good all things considered but I’ll feel better when he eats and poops.

Not sure he’s a male either but we named him Oscar after the muppet since he came out of the garbage.

TLDR: people are crazy! There are two reptile specialty shops and a humane society in our city who will take any unwanted animals no questions asked. Poor dude didn’t deserve to die such a horrible and scary death and I’m so grateful he got lucky and came to us!


Update - he got out of the water and left behind what I think is urate but no brown to be seen in the droppings so maybe he didn’t ingest anything in the trash? I should also mention we weighed him and he clocked in at a substantial 515 grams (give or take bc my scale is cheap and too small for him).


First off I’d check to see if anyone is missing their beardie in the area he was picked up, just to be sure this wasn’t a case of an animal accidentally escaping and getting tossed with the trash. Especially since he’s in much better condition than you’d expect of an animal that was dumped.

Other than that, I’ve got almost no knowledge on the species, aside you might want to get him checked for metabolic bone disease by a vet, just in case he wasn’t given UVB.


Good point! I hadn’t thought of that. Since it was an apartment complex during move out season I jumped to the conclusion that someone moving out of the apartments tossed him but apartment complex dumpsters are prime territory for illegal dumping. I’ll post on my Nextdoor and Facebook


It’s always possible despite his seemingly cared for appearance that he was tossed, but I think everyone who has kept or known someone who has kept herps has heard of one animal that just wanted to escape, so it’s always best to double-check. Do make sure to ask for some sort of proof of ownership if you get a reply. If no one replies, or until they do, enjoy your new friend! Lovely of you both to save him and take him in like that!


I am sure hoping the little guy was accidentally mixed up with the trash and not thrown away. I know people do this kind of thing every day but I hope it’s not the case with this sweet little man! :pray:


It may be a good idea to save his stool, when it happens, for the purpose of a parasite test.


Blooming heck,
Right time and place for your boyfriend :black_heart:

What is wrong with people :pensive: No animal deserves that at all. Atleast put on a rescues door step…

If you get underneath pics can help if male or female x


Any updates on sweet Oscar? Do you still have him, @kanderson58 ?