Saturday, January 24, 2015

Veterinarian seeks help flying elderly lizard for surgery • Specialized treatment in Florida, veterinarian says

SACO, Maine —Maine veterinarian Sandra Mitchell needs helping transporting a sick, elderly lizard to Florida. Beardie, a bearded dragon lizard, needs emergency cancer surgery.

“If this lizard does not receive surgery, she will undoubtedly die very soon,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell said none of the major airlines will agree to fly the 8-year-old lizard onboard. The animal cannot be stowed as cargo either because it is too cold.

According to the websites of the airlines flying from the Portland Jetport, only dogs and cats and sometimes household birds are allowed onboard. Each airline has its own policy.

“The real shame of this situation is that the lizard is smaller than the average pet allowed on a plane, could not possibly escape from a typical cat carrier, makes no noise, has no smell, and would be wrapped in blankets for warmth and therefore would not even be visible to someone looking closely – much less trouble than the average pet on the plane,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell said Beardie has liver cancer and the trip to Florida is for a specialized procedure.

Mitchell said other options include hiring a private pilot to travel to Florida or drive.

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