Amnesty offered to those who surrender exotic pets

Posted 1/9/23

To reduce the number of nonnative species released into the wild, the Exotic Pet Amnesty Program offers a free and legal opportunity for Florida residents to surrender nonnative pets …

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Amnesty offered to those who surrender exotic pets

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To reduce the number of nonnative species released into the wild, the Exotic Pet Amnesty Program offers a free and legal opportunity for Florida residents to surrender nonnative pets they are no longer able to keep.

Owners may surrender nonnative pets for any reason at any time (regardless of the regulatory status of their pet). The FWC will facilitate the adoption process and make every effort to place the nonnative pet with an approved adopter.

Surrendered nonnative pets are rehomed only with approved adopters. The surrendering owner is responsible for continued housing and care until an approved adopter is found. Surrendered pets are not euthanized unless recommended by a veterinarian during an Exotic Pet Amnesty Day event.

Owners may choose from these surrender options:
• Email the Surrender Form to PetAmnesty@MyFWC.com
• Call the FWC’s Exotic Species Hotline at 888-Ive-Got1 (483-4681)

• Surrender a nonnative pet in-person at Exotic Pet Amnesty Day events scheduled throughout the year.

The FWC developed the Exotic Pet Amnesty Program in 2006 in response to proposed rule changes for multiple reptile species. To reduce the number of nonnative pets released into the Florida environment, the FWC offers pet owners a legal alternative to release. The Exotic Pet Amnesty Program rehomes surrendered animals to approved adopters. Anyone may complete the application to become an approved adopter. If the animal you wish to adopt does require a permit for possession, you must be approved for that permit before you may adopt the animal.

The search for approved adopters can take time, but participation in the FWC program provides owners with amnesty while they search for appropriate adopters. Owners will retain possession of their animal and are granted temporary amnesty from compliance with certain rules affecting the pet, including permitting and PIT tags.

exotic, animals, FWC

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