37 exotic pets turn up for rescue at ‘Exotic Animal Surrender’ event in Bristol

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) — A Wisconsin rescue group is working to stop people from releasing exotic animals into the wild.

J&R Aquatic Animal Rescue held an exotic drop-off event in Bristol this weekend, where people could drop off exotic animals – no questions asked.

The Menasha-based rescue hosts exotic animal surrender events across Wisconsin on a monthly basis.

“People don’t know what to do with them if they can’t take care of them anymore, so we’re offering this as a resource to the community where they can get them to a safe place,” said JRAAR’s director, John Moyles.

Their mission is to take in unique animals, rather than release them back into the wild, which could be harmful to both the animal and the environment.

Their event in Bristol on Saturday brought 37 alien surrenders, as well as a colony of 500 cockroaches.

“We had birds, we had lots of turtles, lots of lizards, we had snakes, including a probably 8-foot python, which was good,” Moyles said.

It is typical for the rescue to host 20-50 animals at each event. Although Wisconsin’s exotic pet laws are more relaxed than those of other Midwestern states, the rules can be complicated.

“It’s all happening town by town, and it changes from town to town,” Moyles said. “Some towns may have big snakes, some may not. It really depends on where you live.”

Many owner abandonments are due to changes in housing or living arrangements, where safe abandonment is the best option for the animal and its former owner.

“You have animals like big snakes or birds or fish, you might not be able to get them where you want to go. So that’s where we come in and we can help you,” Moyles said.

Although JRAAR provides many helpful resources, Moyles hopes people will pay attention when considering an exotic pet.

“Do your homework, make sure you know what you’re getting into before you jump in, and make sure you can care for the animal for its entire lifespan,” Moyles said.

J&R Aquatic Animal Rescue works with zoos, sanctuaries, other rescues, and public adopters to find forever homes for abandoned animals.

They are having an exotic surrender event in Milwaukee on 9/11.

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