Adopt An Exotic Nonnative Pet
Become an approved adopter!
The Exotic Pet Amnesty Program rehomes surrendered animals to approved adopters. Anyone may complete the application to become an approved adopter. Adopters may specify the type of animals they prefer to adopt and will be contacted by the program when those species become available.
Adoptions - Frequently Asked Questions
Simply fill out and submit an adoption application. All information must be completed and submitted before the application will be processed.
Applicants may apply to adopt from more than one animal category. Additional animal categories may be added to your adopter profile at any time.
Adopters will receive emails from the program whenever their preferred species is surrendered by an owner in the same county. It is important to keep your animal category preferences and contact information up to date to receive these emails. If you choose to adopt the surrendered animal, your contact information will be given to the owner. All arrangements for transfer/relocation of the animal are between the adopter and surrendering owner.
If adopting at an Exotic Pet Amnesty Day event, adopters should adopters should check in at Exotic Pet Amnesty Day events at 1:45 pm. After 2:00 pm, we allow adopters to see the animals that will be available for adoption that day. After adopter viewing, we conduct a drawing to create a random adoption order. The first adopter called may 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 conduct a second random drawing.
It is free to be an adopter! There are no application fees and there is no fee to adopt an animal through the program. However, the cost of supporting a pet for the remainder of its life should be considered before applying.
An applicant may apply to adopt from multiple animal categories. Each request will be processed and considered independently. All approved categories are added to your adopter profile and kept on file. Adopters may adopt animals only from each species category for which they are approved. Adopters can also request to adopt from additional categories after their initial application has been approved.
A list of adoption categories can be found here: Adoption Categories
Some animals do not require a permit for personal possession. If the animal you wish to adopt does require a permit for possession, you must be approved for that permit before you may adopt the animal.
Yes. The applications demonstrate knowledge of the species and the care requirements. All information must be provided to become an approved adopter.
Adopters should check in at Exotic Pet Amnesty Day events at 1:45 pm. After 2:00 pm, we allow adopters to see the animals that will be available for adoption that day. After adopter viewing, we conduct a drawing to create a random adoption order. The first adopter called may 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 conduct a second random drawing.
We have no way of knowing prior to an Exotic Pet Amnesty Day event what species of nonnative animals, or how many, will be surrendered. In general, we see many animals that can be purchased easily at local pet stores such as ball pythons, chameleons, and pond turtles. While less common, we also see small birds, parrots, boa constrictors, and tortoises with some frequency.
Red-eared sliders are not accepted at Exotic Pet Amnesty Day events unless specifically arranged by the Exotic Pet Amnesty Specialist because they are difficult to rehome the same day. We always welcome new applicants to become approved red-eared slider adopters.
Approved adopters must bring a copy of their acceptance letter. If you plan to adopt any regulated species, you must also bring a physical copy of the permits you possess.
Adopters should bring a form of containment for animal transport such as a small kennel, a large Tupperware, or even a cloth bag. Assume that the animal you are adopting may not come with a habitat or appropriate containment for transport and be prepared to provide these items.