Exotic Pet Amnesty Day Events

Upcoming Amnesty Day Events 

The Exotic Pet Amnesty Day event scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018 at the Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park in Ft. Walton Beach has been indefinitely postponed as our staff assist with Hurricane Michael recovery efforts.


Exotic Species Hotline, 1-888-Ive-Got1 (483-4681); PetAmnesty@MyFWC.com

 Information on

Surrendering Animals

Adopting Animals

I don’t have a pet to surrender and I’m not an adopter. Can I still go to an Exotic Pet Amnesty Day event?

Exotic Pet Amnesty Day events are free and everyone is welcome to attend. There are informative and educational displays at most amnesty events, and live animals are usually on exhibit. Kids and families can see exotic animals up close and learn about nonnative species issues.


Information on Surrendering Animals

What pets can I surrender at an Exotic Pet Amnesty Day event?

We accept all exotic reptiles, amphibians, birds, fish, mammals and invertebrates at Exotic Pet Amnesty events. Domestic pets, such as dogs and cats and rabbits, are not accepted.

What will happen to my pet if I surrender it?

Exotic pets can be surrendered between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm, no questions asked. Every pet that is surrendered is inspected by a veterinarian, and all healthy pets are placed with pre-qualified adopters that same day. Our qualified adopters have submitted applications that demonstrate they know how to care for the animals they are approved to adopt.

What should I bring with me to surrender my pet?

First and foremost, your pet - preferably in a transportable container that you are willing to part with. Additionally, you can bring anything involved in the care or caging of the animal that you no longer wish to keep. Anything you surrender with the animal will go with that animal to its new home. This includes caging, food, vitamins, toys, and anything else you commonly use in the care of your animal.

I have multiple animals that I need to surrender, will they all go to the same home?

We strive to place animals into new homes and environments that will provide them the best chance at living a long and happy life. If the animals you surrender are bonded together every effort will be made to place the animals into a new home together. This is usually easy to accommodate if the animals are in pairs or trios.

I’m surrendering my animal, but would like to hear from the new owner about how my animal is doing, is this possible?

When you surrender your animal you are welcome to leave your name and contact information for the new owner of your animal. However, we cannot guarantee that the person who adopts your animal will be open to contacting you.

What if my pet doesn’t get adopted?

So far we have been successful with having all healthy animals adopted during an event. However, in the rare event that an animal was not adopted we would hold that animal while we contacted pre-approved adopters in the area who may not have been able to attend the event.

I missed the last event and have an exotic pet I can’t keep anymore. What can I do?

We can help place exotic pets outside of amnesty events. Contact the Exotic Species Hotline at 888-IVE-GOT1 (888-483-4681).

Back to top


Information on Adopting Animals

I’d like to adopt an exotic pet

Want to help us find homes for exotic pets in need? Apply today! Read about how to become an exotic pet adopter.

I’m an adopter with the program, what should I expect at an Exotic Pet Amnesty Day event?

At an Exotic Pet Amnesty Day event, animals are surrendered between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm. Surrendered animals are held for the duration of the event and adoptions start around 2:30 pm. Adopters should arrive and check in at 2:15 pm. Once most adopters have checked in, we allow all the adopters to travel through the animal holding area and see the animals that will be available for adoption that day. After every adopter has had an opportunity to see the animals we have a drawing to create a random adoption order. The first adopter called gets to go through the trailer and adopt one animal from a category for which they are approved. This process continues until every adopter has had a chance to go through and adopt an animal. If there are still animals available for adoption we will go back through the random list of adopters.

What animals will be available for adoption at an Exotic Pet Amnesty Day event?

We have no way of knowing what species of animals, or how many, will be surrendered at any given event. Also, we allow for the surrender of any exotic pet so we receive a great variety of animals. In general, we see a lot of animals that can be purchased easily at local pet stores such as ball pythons, green iguanas, pond turtles, and sugar gliders. While less common, we also see small birds, parrots, boa constrictors, and tortoises with some frequency.

I plan on adopting, what should I bring to an event?

If you plan on adopting an animal at an Exotic Pet Amnesty Day event you should bring something to transport that animal home. Depending on what you are approved for this could be a small kennel, a large Tupperware, or even a cloth bag. Don’t assume the animal you are adopting will come with a habitat or something appropriate for transport.

I have adopted a conditional snake or lizard species (Reptile of Concern) from the Exotic Pet Amnesty Program.  What do I do next?

Persons authorized to possess conditional snake and lizard species are required to maintain an accurate record of changes in inventory.  If you adopt a conditional species through the Exotic Pet Amnesty Program, simply fill out the Captive Wildlife Inventory-Donated Reptile Form and e-mail it to CWinfo@MyFwc.com or mail it to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Division of Law Enforcement, 620 South Meridian Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-1600.

The Captive Wildlife Inventory-Donated Reptile Form Adobe PDF

Back to top



FWC Facts:
Horseshoe crabs are important to the biomedical industry because components of their blood thicken in the presence of small amounts of bacterial toxins.

Learn More at AskFWC