Suffolk SPCA: Turn in your illegal exotic pets

- Authorities on Long Island want owners of illegal exotic pets to step forward and turn in their beasts.

The Suffolk County SPCA and the state's Department of Environmental Conservation are hosting a so-called Amnesty Day for illegally owned protected, endangered, and threatened animals. These kinds of animals usually require special permits from the state DEC and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, but most owners do not bother.

"The purpose of this effort is to get these illegally possessed animals into a controlled environment where they can be cared for properly," Suffolk SPCA Chief Roy Gross said. "People who are in possession of these animals unlawfully can turn them in to us without fear of prosecution. No one will be asked to give their name."

In recent years, authorities have captured and confiscated dozens of potentially dangerous reptiles in the New York area. Many of these snakes, alligators, and caimans are not legal pets and are dangerous. Authorities suspect that in some cases people keep the reptiles as pets and then abandon them when they grow too big.

The amnesty event is being held Saturday, October 15, 2016, from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Suffolk County SPCA at 725 Veterans Memorial Highway, Building 16, Smithtown, Long Island.

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