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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Sometimes people sign up for things that, in the long run, turn out to be not the best idea—like acquiring an exotic animal as a pet.

On Saturday, March 13th, Zoo Miami will host the annual Exotic Pet Amnesty Day for Miami-Dade County, which gives exotic pet owners the chance to safely surrender the animal(s) they can’t care for—no questions asked. The event is sanctioned by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).

The free event is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in front of Zoo Miami at 12400 SW 152 Street.

The animals will be checked by a veterinarian and then made available for adoption to experienced individuals who are capable of caring for them. Every attempt will be made to place all healthy animals with qualified adopters.

Amnesty Day events are held around the state to provide the opportunity for people to surrender their exotic pets free of charge with no penalties. The animals accepted include reptiles, amphibians, mammals, birds, fish, and invertebrates. Domestic animals, such as cats, dogs, guinea pigs and rabbits, will not be accepted.

Zoo Miami is hosting the event in an effort to reduce and prevent the release of non-native animals into the wild.

Exotic pet adopters must be experienced and must have already applied and been approved by the FWC. Would-be adopters must bring their acceptance letters with them. People can find adopter applications at Becoming an adopter is free.

For additional information about this event, call the FWC’s Exotic Species Hotline at 888-Ive-Got1 (888-483-4681). Exotic pet owners who cannot attend this event may call this number for assistance in finding a new home for their animal year-round.


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