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Exotic Pet Amnesty Program

Exotic Pet Amnesty Program Logo

The Exotic Pet Amnesty Program supports Florida pet owners who need to rehome nonnative pets. The program connects owners with qualified adopters who can provide nonnative pets with new homes.

Program Highlights:

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Red-eared slider turtle looking up and away to the left

Red-eared sliders are the most rehomed reptile in the program and the most difficult to place. Due to high volume, red-eared sliders will NOT be accepted at Exotic Pet Amnesty Day events (unless specifically arranged by the FWC). 

We need red-eared slider adopters! If you are interested in becoming a red-eared slider adopter, please submit the online Adopter Application.

Red-eared sliders are a Conditional species in Florida. Adopters will need a free permit to possess this aquatic species as a personal pet.

Individuals must have adequate indoor tanks or outdoor enclosures that are fully enclosed by a barrier secured at least 6 inches below ground and that will prevent escape of turtles by digging, climbing or crawling through gaps. Any red-eared slider eggs must be destroyed on a daily basis. Albino and amelanistic red-eared sliders may be possessed as pets without a permit.

More information on red-eared sliders

Baby Squirrels

Native species kept as pets are outside the scope of this program. Owners of native pet wildlife should visit the Captive Wildlife page to find more information on regulations and options for their native animals. Report sick or injured wildlife by contacting a local wildlife rehabilitator or calling the FWC's Wildlife Alert Hotline

Domestic pets including dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs and livestock (Ex. pigs and chickens) are not accepted. Owners of domestic animals should inquire with local pet shelters or rescues for options on rehoming their pets.

Rule Chapter 68-5, Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.) requires license / permits for wildlife possession, exhibition and sale. Some nonnative species have adverse impacts to the ecology, economy and/or human health and safety and are further regulated as Conditional or Prohibited. Owners of these nonnative pets are required to possess the proper permit and permanently mark their animal(s) with a PIT tag and comply with enhanced biosecurity measures. Owners may request to rehome their pet and receive temporary amnesty from the requirements in 68-5, F.A.C.

More information can be found on these pages:

Information on 2021 rule changes for invasive reptiles

Additional information on nonnative species permits

Additional information on Captive Wildlife licenses and permits