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What Is National Iguana Awareness Day? Cindy Steinle Ė Wisconsin NIAD Coordinator.

National Iguana Awareness Day is the name of an organization of volunteers world wide that make a hobby of teaching the general public the basics and sometimes the more detailed aspect of Green Iguana care. We all work volunteer simply for the love of the animals. One day a year, the second Saturday of September, we go out en mass to give talks or make visits to pet stores. But it is more than that. It is an Internet based community of research and education. From ways to feed your iguana, to basic health concerns and treatments, to new products good and bad on the market. We also try to assist local shelters and herpetological societies with adoptions. We do this for the love of the animals and for mistakes made by others or us in captive care. We try to right iguana wrongs.

Why do we do this? Most people have different reasons. I got involved in NIAD about 2 years ago as a volunteer. I did this because when I got my first iguana on a friendís death, I called the local reptile experts. It was a pet store. And not only did I follow their suggestions to a Tee, but I also killed my Iguana because of it. In a short 6 month time I had killed an animal that can live up to 25 years. Its true and itís a common tale I hear. I began reading more and more and I also began learning that the majority of books on the market are many years old. I also began to learn that Iguanas are probably the most disposable lizards in the pet trade today. Shortly after joining NIAD I became the coordinator for Wisconsin and made the decision that NIAD was more than one day a year. NIAD should be a daily event. Now I work closely with a few shelters, pet stores and vet clinics to help educate on the many special needs that Iguanas need. I do many shows throughout the year with display materials.

We are not activists. We do not have a militant manner. We do not stage protests. We are however educators. We offer free information sheets to anyone that asks. We are in a constant state of learning. Every chance we get we are working to learn more about proper care, husbandry and health and too share it with people. We have everything from care sheets to coloring pages for kids. Some of us work year round while others do what they can when they can. We are a support system. If one of us doesnít know the answer to a question, we usually can find someone who does.

So really what is NIAD. It is a day. It is an education resource. It is a support group. It is an adoption resource. It is many different things, but most important it is a hope for captive Iguanas.

For more information on NIAD activities in your area visit www.niad.org or visit the Wisconsin homepage and drop me a line. I am always happy to help anyone. Feel free to email me at faustcorpus@hotmail.com or snail mail at:

Cindy Steinle

PO Box 341026 Milwaukee WI, 53234-1026





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