The return of the dragon!

By Molly Reuter - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

JACKSONVILLE, TX (KLTV) - It's a hot item at one East Texas pet store...for thieves that is. Last week, The Pet Store in Jacksonville lost one of its newest members, a baby Bearded Dragon, and the store says, it's not the first time one of their friendly lizards have gone missing.

Sandi Catlett began selling bearded dragons in her pet store nearly five years ago.

"They are just really neat pets," said Catlett. "People are just really interested in them."

That interest, Catlett said, turned criminal. She said earlier this year someone took off with two of her bearded dragons. Then, last Friday, a couple targeted another one.

"When we got her purchases, we went to the register to pay and he kind of hung to the back, and just disappeared out of sight real quick, and it kind of made me nervous," said Catlett.

She said she noticed her baby bearded dragon was gone and confronted the couple as they headed to their car. They denied taking the animal.

"They took a little itty bitty animal that couldn't survive without the proper care," said Catlett. "I can stand the money loss. It's not that much if a financial hit. It's just that the poor little thing. It's alive and it needs a good home."

The couple, Catlett said, must have had a change of heart. Monday night, the bearded dragon appeared at her store's front door.

"I was just thrilled," she exclaimed.

When asked if her friendly lizard had a name, Catlett replied, "Not yet...maybe Lucky. Lucky for this little guy."

But Catlett knows the outcome could have been much worse.

"When you get an animal, regardless of how you get them, you need to take care of them properly," she said. "You need to know what your getting, and how they need to be taken of."

Sandi Catlett said she called police Tuesday morning to let them know the dragon had been returned. She said she will not be pursuing criminal charges.

©2009 KLTV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.