When Emma was 8, she held a Bearded Dragon for the very first time at the County Fair. Shortly after that, her mom, Sarah, bought her a Beardie for her birthday, and she named her Lizzie.
Sarah learned all she could about Bearded Dragons. In December 2012, she saw an ad for a free juvenile Bearded Dragon with an infected arm. She knew quite a bit about Beardies, she had a good veterinarian. She decided to pick him up.
A couple of weeks later, Sarah found a baby Beardie in a sand tank at a local pet store that had an open, bleeding wound on his foot. Another Beardie had bitten it off! She could not get that poor baby out of her mind. She convinced the store to surrender it to her.
Once Sarah had rehabilitated those two, she felt like she could rescue other sick Beardies. Soon she realized she was filling a void. This was the beginning of her Bearded Dragon rescue. Her reputation quickly spread within the local reptile community.
Her veterinarian was a great resource and teacher. She learned how to give antibiotics, injections, and tube feedings. The first year of rescuing cost her over $3000. She knew she needed to find a way to earn money without having to beg for donations all the time.
In March 2014, a friend suggested that Sarah sew felt dragon wings and sell them online. By October, she was selling dragon wings, shark costumes, and blankets. The Beardie owners loved the costumes and the orders came pouring in. She asked her mom, Marianne, to help her manage the online shop. Then Sarah could devote more time to rescuing efforts.
In May 2017, Sarah sold the online Pampered Beardies shop to Marianne. It allowed her to expand Sarah’s Bearded Dragon Rescue. Proceeds from the shop continue to help pay the ongoing expenses of rehabilitating and re-homing Bearded Dragons. The shop also donates to other reptile rescue groups.
The online shop has grown from just a few basic costumes and blankets to over 50 different items. To date, Pampered Beardies has processed over 10,000 orders, has shipped all over the world, and supported the rescue of over 400 Beardies and reptiles.