Dragon Queen Reptile Rescue helps rescue and rehabilitate reptiles

EATON RAPIDS, Mich. — We’ve all heard of humane societies and animal shelters for dogs, cats, and even the occasional rabbit or guinea pig, but what about our scaly friends?

Kaylea Ostrander calls the basement of a house in Eaton Rapids her little zoo. It is home to a dog, a cat, birds and 22 reptiles all rescued and most looking for their forever homes.

“I accidentally started a reptile rescue,” Ostrander said,

An aptly named rescue Dragon Queen Reptile Rescue.

“Everyone kept calling me the dragon queen or they’d be like, oh, like the lizard queen, the dragon queen and so it kind of made sense,” Ostrander said.

It all started with a bearded dragon named Leo.

“I had gotten one of the bearded dragon kits,” Ostrander said. “I thought I had done adequate research. I didn’t. So he had inappropriate temperatures, low temperatures so he wasn’t eating and the UVB was way too low.

After doing more research, Kaylea and Leo did a full 360 degree turn.

“I changed everything, and kidding you no less than an hour after I raised his temperature, and the UVB light came on, he was squashing bugs,” Ostrander said.

That’s when Kaylea realized she could help other reptile parents.

“I help owners who are interested in how I learn and help reptiles, by keeping the reptiles, then I take dropouts, without judgment,” Ostrander said.

She also helps more reptiles like Leo.

“I had three beards in three months and got my first free Craigslist rescue,” Ostrander said.

But sometimes, even when Kaylea does all she can to help, it’s too late.

“So Clementine, who just passed away last weekend, she had her pelvis broken when I went to pick her up,” Ostrander said. “These people just left her at the bottom of her tank, unable to move or anything and just left her with a broken pelvis. How she even had a broken pelvis, I don’t know because it takes some effort.

Kaylea said it’s hard for reptiles to recover from something like a broken pelvis.

“There was no reason Clementine suffered like this,” Ostrander said. “Just because you love pets doesn’t mean it shows me someone who loves pets.”

Cases like this drive her to travel across the state to rescue reptiles in need.

“I want them to go to their new homes like I want their new homes to enjoy,” Ostrander said.

She wants to make sure they have a second chance in a real home filled with love.

“I almost instantly know who’s going to go with this family for whatever reason, like, I don’t know why, but it hasn’t worked out yet,” Ostrander said. “Literally those who are a little spicy with me or in general, instantly in love with their family, like, no problems.

Even if it means saving one or two for her by accident.

“I tried to relocate Milo,” Ostrander said. “I cried for two weeks when I relocated him. It didn’t work out in his new home and he hasn’t been anywhere since.

It will also help reptile parents properly care for their new family member.

“I need proof of proper enclosure lighting and stuff but again I have no problem helping you make sure it’s correct or fixing anything what you see fixed and I usually have extra UVB lights, like new ones and things they can buy from me instead,” Ostrander said.

Kaylea loves everyone before finding them their next home.

“Just because they don’t make noise doesn’t mean you don’t know they’re mad at you,” Ostrander said. “They’re very expressionistic with their faces and they’re incredibly smart. Oh my god smart.

And she watches them start to trust and love each other again, before they leave for their new home.

“You can train them to kiss on command and like Ringo, one of mine, he kisses on command,” Ostrander said. “They all have amazing personalities. It’s so funny. It’s so fun to watch, like I have a lot of before. Or like the day I had any animal and like the day where they went to their new homes. These photos are fun to watch.

Kaylea said she was able to ship reptiles to their new homes, but still needed proof of suitable habitat for them.

You can see the reptiles she has to adopt on her Facebook page.

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