Surrender illegal pets at exotic animal amnesty day on Long Island

- People who own illegal exotic pets can come forward to surrender the beasts to authorities on Long Island at an amnesty event this weekend and won't face fines or charges, officials said.

The Suffolk County SPCA and the state's Department of Environmental Conservation are hosting the amnesty event for illegally owned protected, endangered, and threatened animals at the Holtsville Ecology Site, 249 Buckley Road, Holtsville, on Saturday, October 13, 2018, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

"The purpose of this effort is to get these illegally possessed animals into a controlled environment where they can be cared for properly," Suffolk County 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."

[SEE SOME EXOTIC ANIMALS FOUND IN NEW YORK]

Experts trained to handle potentially dangerous animals will accept unlicensed, exotic, or illegal mammals, reptiles, and amphibians, the SPCA said. Owners should bring animals in containers, which will be returned.

Three alligators and eight turtles were surrendered at an amnesty event held in 2015.

In recent years, numerous exotic and dangerous animals have been found abandoned on Long Island and in New York City. Most of these snakes, alligators, and caimans are not legal pets and are dangerous. Some of the animals require special permits or licenses from the state DEC and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, but most owners do not bother.

If you have questions, contact either the Suffolk County SPCA at (631) 382-7722 or the DEC at (631) 444-0250.

The amnesty program will accept the following animals:

ALL VENOMOUS REPTILES

LARGE NONVENOMOUS CONSTRICTOR SNAKES

  • Burmese python 
  • Reticulated python 
  • African rock python 
  • Green anaconda 
  • Yellow anaconda 
  • Australian amethystine python  
  • Indian python

LARGE LIZARDS/MONITORS

  • Asiatic (water) monitor 
  • Nile monitor
  • White throat monitor 
  • Black throat monitor 
  • Crocodile monitor 
  • Komodo dragon
  • Alligators, crocodiles, caimans and other types of crocodilians

WILD MAMMALS

  • Leopard
  • Snow leopard
  • Clouded leopard
  • Tiger
  • Asiatic lion
  • Cheetah
  • Wolf
  • Tasmanian forester kangaroo
  • Polar bear
  • Mountain lion, cougar
  • Jaguar
  • Ocelot
  • Margay
  • Primates
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