Don't Let It Loose
Don't Let It Loose
The release of nonnative fish and wildlife is an illegal activity in Florida and potentially harmful for animals and the environment. Released and escaped nonnative animals may struggle to survive without proper shelter, food or water. These species do not belong in Florida and may become invasive, threatening our ecology, economy and human health and safety.
The Exotic Pet Amnesty Program supports Florida pet owners who need to rehome nonnative pets. The program matches owners with qualified adopters who can provide nonnative pets with forever homes.
- Rehome nonnative pets for any reason
- Rehoming requests accepted year-round
- Conditional and Prohibited species are accepted
- Temporary amnesty available to owners in need
The Florida Administrative Code and the Florida Statutes govern the importation and introduction of nonnative fish and wildlife:
- It is unlawful for any person to possess, transport or otherwise bring into the state or to release or introduce in the state any freshwater fish, aquatic invertebrate, marine plant, marine animal, or wild animal life that is not native to the state without a permit from the Commission, except fathead minnow, variable platy, coturnix quail, and ring-necked pheasant. (68-5.001, F.A.C.)
- It is unlawful to import into the state or place in any of the fresh waters of the state any freshwater fish of any species without having first obtained a permit from the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. (379.28, F.S.)
- It is unlawful to import for sale or use, or to release within this state, any species of the animal kingdom not indigenous to Florida without having first obtained a permit from the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. (379.231, F.S.)
- It is unlawful to import or possess any marine plant or marine animal, not indigenous to the state, which, due to the stimulating effect of the waters of the state on procreation, may endanger or infect the marine resources of the state or pose a human health hazard, except as provided in this section. (379.26, F.S.)
Rules concerning Conditional and Prohibited nonnative species are found in Chapter 68-5, F.A.C. More information is available in Florida Administrative Code and Florida Statutes.