Pet Amnesty Day at GatorlandPublished October 20, 2010
Gatorland and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) are hosting an event offering Floridians who no longer can take care of their non-native exotic pets the opportunity to give them up for adoption rather than turn them loose in the wild, which is often the case. The Second Annual Pet Amnesty Day at Gatorland in Orlando, will be held on Saturday, October 23, between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 a.m. No questions will be asked, no penalties given, and there is no fee for surrendering exotic animals at the event. Pet Amnesty Day is open to the public for free. FWC biologist, Jenny Tinnell said, "We expect to receive quite a few nonnative animals at Gatorland on the 23rd and we need to find safe homes for each of them. Often, pet owners don't understand the difference between native and nonnative species, or they don't realize the possible long-term effect releasing a nonnative species can have on the environment. This event gives pet owners who can no longer take care of their pets or no longer wish to keep them a legal, ethical option." For experienced exotic pet owners residing in the Orlando area, applications are now being accepted by the FWC. Potential adopters must complete the application form and be in possession of all necessary permits prior to the event and before receiving surrendered animals. To ensure the good health of all animals up for adoption, before placing them with qualified adopters, all animals will be examined by a veterinarian. Releasing non-native exotic animals in the wild is not only against the law in Florida, it is also potentially harmful for the animal and the environment. Taking advantage of Pet Amnesty Day offers folks an excellent opportunity to humanely rehome their unwanted non-native exotic pets. Domestic pets, including dogs, cats and ferrets will not be accepted for surrender. Pet Amnesty Day also presents an ideal opportunity for anyone considering buying an exotic pet with experts on hand to answer questions about what exotic pets require and live animals will be on display. Have you ever considered an exotic animal for a pet? Share with a comment.