Second Amnesty Day for Illegal Reptiles Brings in More Gators and Snakes

More alligators, snakes, and turtles were handed over yesterday at the Selden Petco for the second illegal animal amnesty day.

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The Suffolk County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals held its second amnesty day for owners of illegal reptiles and amphibians at the Selden Petco, and brought in a similar haul to the first event.

The event brought in eight illegal reptiles, including alligators, boa constrictors, and snapping turtles.

At the event, owners were allowed to drop off their illegal pets without fear of fines. By granting owners amnesty, the SPCA hopes to encourage them to drop off their unwanted illegal pets instead of setting them loose in the wild.

All of the eight animals dropped off will be sent to zoos.

The SPCA’s amnesty day came as a response to people abandoning pets across Long Island. According to SPCA Chief Roy Gross, dozens of dangerous and illegal reptiles have been abandoned on the island in recent years, with the chief reptile of interest being alligators.

Gross told ABC News that 16 alligators were abandoned in Suffolk County in a nine month period.  These include two alligators that were found in a supermarket parking lot in Baldwin, one found on a golf course in Wading River, and another found in the parking lot of an Applebee’s in Shirley.

Possessing an alligator carries a fine of up to $250, and releasing an alligator into the wild is a misdemeanor that can lead to jail time.

The first illegal reptile and amphibian amnesty day was held at Sweetbriar Nature Center in Smithtown in April, and brought in three alligators, a boa constrictor, and a variety of turtles.

For more information about what to do with an unwanted legal or illegal animal, contact the Suffolk County SPCA at 631-382-7722; New York State Department of Conservation 631-444-0250; or the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service at 516-825-3950.

[Source: News 12 Long Island, ABC News]