Plants and Animals

Pet Reptiles Abandoned By Owners In The Face Of Rising Energy Costs

Pet Reptiles Abandoned By Owners In The Face Of Rising Energy Costs

Electricity rates are gradually rising, and the global cost of living is gradually rising as well. However, due to the spike in worldwide gas costs, there has been a 54 percent increase in England since April. This rise appears to be compelling exotic pet owners to give up their scaly friends, as the cost of electricity to run their heating and lighting systems continues to rise. According to the National Centre for Reptile Welfare (NRCW), a reptile rehoming facility in Kent, UK, some reptile caretakers’ monthly energy expenses have increased by £200-400. They did not say how this compares to persons who did not own reptiles.

Reptile abandonment is likely to increase, and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Creatures (RSPCA) is preparing for a surge of animals being abandoned as people’s wallets are impacted by increasing power costs. The RSPCA has also issued a statement, according to Zenger News: “The RSPCA is worried about exotic pets whose owners are struggling to keep up with rising living costs. When higher utility bills start showing up on people’s doorsteps, we expect a rise in abandonments. When it comes to exotic pets, however, many individuals are ignorant of how big of a commitment they are taking on.”

Pet Reptiles Abandoned By Owners In The Face Of Rising Energy Costs

“Hundreds of animals are unfortunately abandoned every year when their owners can no longer support their requirements, and our officers are frequently called out to deal with them.” This situation is only going to become worse as prices rise. We at the RSPCA are all too familiar with the expenses of owning exotic pets.” Heaters, UV lamps, and thermostats are frequently required by bearded dragons. As a result, they are frequently one of the more costly reptiles to maintain. Owners should always surrender their animals to a rescue center or reptile shop rather than abandoning them in the wild.

Since the rise in energy prices, Charles Thompson, the proprietor of Snakes ‘n Adders in Sheffield, has witnessed a double increase in bearded dragons coming into his business. He’s also seen a lot of individuals come in with animals that have been abandoned in the wild. “A lady was travelling along the A57 [highway] when she overheard someone say, ‘I’m sure there was a bearded dragon just off the side of the road.’ She looked around and saw a bearded dragon sitting there. They found it, didn’t know what to do with it, and sent it to us.” According to, Thompson “We kept it for three weeks, made sure it was eating well, and then put it up for adoption.”

Thompson has also received a call from a woman who discovered a reusable shopping bag tossed over the wall onto her yard. A bearded dragon and a young horn frog were found inside. But what are the prices of these reptiles? Snakes ‘N’ Adders decided to figure it out in an April Facebook post, when the cost per kWh in the UK was 28p [34 cents]. 

When they estimated the cost of a 60w bulb plugged in, they found that it costs 40.32p [48 cents] each day, or £146.76 [$177.02] per year — which is a little more than 6 cups of tea per day (the ultimate British measurement). This post also determined that the more costly bearded dragon costs 79p [95 cents] per week to operate compared to last year, while the less expensive Leopard Gecko costs 23p [28 cents] per week to run.