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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, 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 animals will be accepted, without penalty, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. They will be checked by a veterinarian, and then be made available for adoption the same day to experienced individuals who are capable of caring for them.
The animals accepted include reptiles, amphibians, mammals, birds, fish and invertebrates.
However those looking to surrender domestic animals—like dogs and cats—will be turned down.
Zoo Miami is hosting the event in an effort to reduce and prevent the release of nonnative animals in Florida and will also provide tips on responsible pet ownership.
The event is sanctioned by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) through a grant funded by Everglades National Park.
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 MyFWC.com/Nonnatives. 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.