CHICOPEE, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - The search is on for whoever dumped a caged bearded dragon near a dumpster in Chicopee.

The exotic lizard was found by a good Samaritan, withering away in the cold temperatures.

The bearded dragon, rescued by Thomas J. O'Connor Animal Control and Adoption Center was found in the cold on Tuesday in Chicopee after being abandoned in a cage outside a dumpster.

"He basically felt like if you took a beverage out of the fridge and out it against yourself, that's how cold it was," Renee Robichaud, an Animal Control officer for the TJO, tells us.

Robichaud says she arrived on scene and was shocked at what she saw.

"He wasn't showing any signs of life at the time and when I reached in to grab him, he kind of grabbed on to my hand ever so lightly," continued Robichaud.

Matt Manowski, an animal welfare specialist at TJO, is currently taking care of the reptile he has now calls Laz, otherwise known as Lazarus.

He tells Western Mass News that Laz is doing better, but has metabolic bone disease.

"It's deficiency of calcium in his body. If that happens, the calcium inside their body is so depleted, it draws it from their bone and later on their blood," says Manowski.

Laz also faces long term physical setbacks, making it difficult for him to maneuver.

"As you see, his arms are flayed back and typically, he should be standing on them. He is pretty mobile, so it's hopeful," said Manowski.

It will be a long road to recovery for Laz, but TJO wants other pet owners to know there is help if they're having trouble caring for their animals.

"Please spread the word to ask for help. There's no need for animals to go on suffering," added Robichaud.

Copyright 2020 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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