HERNANDO COUNTY, Fla. — A Hernando County reptile and exotic animal rescue is asking for the public’s help to find a newly rescued lizard they say was taken from the rescue's backyard.


Lauren Bertke's home is also home to many different kinds of animals. She and her family run Hernando Reptile and Exotics Rescue Incorporated

They recently rescued a Savannah Monitor named “Peaches.” 

"We had her in a temporary enclosure, which involved being outside during the day and inside at night," Bertke said. 

While they were out last Monday afternoon, Bertke says someone took Peaches from her enclosure in their backyard. 

"There were no dig holes — there were some scamper marks where it looks like something may have chased her or someone may have chased her, but other than that the enclosure was secure," Bertke said. 

"Knowing that someone went into my backyard — granted it was not locked fencing but it was closed fencing — somebody went through two gates and then into my secure enclosure and did that in the middle of the daylight. It was really violating,” she added. 

They've opened a case with the Hernando County Sheriff's Office. All they want is for Peaches to be found safe and sound. 

"Without the proper husbandry they can suffer things like metabolic bone disease, where their bones will become very soft and they won't be able to function and eventually they'll die," Bertke said. 

"If you have her just bring her back that's all we want," Bertke added. "We've got a couple little girls that are really heartbroken and miss her very much."

For more information about the rescue, visit them on Facebook or call 727-423-1469.