DAVIE (CBSMiami) — Wild hogs, Burmese pythons and prairie dogs all have one thing in common: they are non-native species that have torn up Florida’s landscape.
An upcoming Exotic Pet Amnesty Day is looking to curb the trend of pet owners releasing these unwanted pets into South Florida backyards.
CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald reports the event provides pet owners a way to turn in exotic pets — which also include monkeys, piranhas and exotic parrots — they can no longer keep without getting penalized.
More than 500 non-native species have been observed in the wild in Florida, of which 130 have established reproducing populations.
“We don’t want them ending up in our parks,” Linda Briggs, natural resource specialist for Broward County Parks & Recreation, said in a news conference announcing the event.
Animals can be brought in between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday at Tree Tops Park, 3900 SW 100th Ave. in Davie. The animals will be examined by vets and adoptions on these same animals will begin at 2:30 p.m.
However, anyone seeking one of these exotic animals must be pre-approved. Applications can be filled out here and are due by Thursday.
There will also be instruction on responsible pet ownership of non-native pets.
The event is being organized by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Everglades Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area and Broward County Parks and Recreation.
Four amnesty events already have been held this year in four counties, including Palm Beach and Miami-Dade. This will be the first one in Broward. If you can’t attend but still want to drop off a pet, you can contact Liz Barraco at 561-393-3287 or toll-free at 888-IVE-GOT1 or by email at Liz.Barraco@MyFWC.com.