The Georgia Illegal Reptile Amnesty Program
Courtesy of Southeastern Reptile Rescue
Possession of certain species of reptiles are prohibited in Georgia without proper permits.
Georgia residents who possess illegal animals risk heavy fines along with having their animals confiscated as well as possible jail time.
Due to fear of prosecution and other factors, owners of illegal reptiles often dump their animals in neighbors backyards where they many times do not survive.
The animals that do survive wreak havoc on the eco-system.
In order to prevent illegaly owned animals being released in Georgia, we at Southeastern Reptile Rescue now offer the
"Illegal Reptile Amnesty Program".
What is the Georgia Illegal Reptile Amnesty Program?
The Georgia Illegal Reptile Amnesty Program is operated by Southeastern Reptile Rescue. This program enables Georgia residents that may possess an illegal reptile such as an alligator or exotic venomous snake an opportunity to insure that their animal will be properly cared for as well as helping themselves avoid crimninal action from law enforcement officials. Here you will be able to anonymously turn over your reptile with no questions asked instead of releasing it into the wild where it may not belong.
Who benefits from the Georgia Illegal Reptile Amnesty Program?
1. The state of Georgia. By turning over your illegal reptiles, the states ecosytem is not negatively effected from exotic animals being released for fear of prosecution.
2. The reptiles. Instead of being dumped in someones backyard and having to face a frigid Georgia winter to which they may not be suited or acclimated to, the reptile is provided with everything it needs to live a long healthy life.
3. You. Georgia citizens are able to turn their illegal reptile over to the staff at Southeastern Reptile Rescue - NO QUESTIONS ASKED!
If I have an illegal reptile, how do I turn it over to Southeastern Reptile Rescue without getting in trouble with Law Enforcement.
A person who has an illegal reptile may call, e-mail or even mail us an anonymous letter. Although, we will need to speak to you at some point to arrange a meeting place so we may pick up the animal.
When turning an illegal reptile over to us, all you need to do is inform us of the specific animal you are surrendering. We will then agree upon a meeting place where the animal can be exchanged. No further information will be required of you!
If I turn my illegal reptile over to Southeastern Reptile Rescue, what will happen to it?
Let me give you an example. If we get a call to pick up a 3 ' salt water crocodile, we simply make arrangements with the owner to meet at a location that both parties agree to at which time we take the crocodile. We then contact the Georgia Dept. of Natural Resources and advise them that we just recieved a 3' saltwater crocodile from an anonymous person. Georgia DNR then advises us to transport the animal to a proper facility of their choice or may instruct us to temporarily hold the crocodile at our facility until they find proper placement for it or they may also release ownership of the crocodile to us to be used in educational programs.
Which reptiles are illegal in Georgia?
Since there are approximately 3000 different snake species in the world, not to mention all the turtles and crocodilians, we won't list them all here. But, I'll try to break it down for you as simply as I can.
In Georgia, venomous snakes that are NOT native to this state are illegal (ie. western diamondback rattlesnakes, mambas, gaboon vipers, cobras etc.)
Non-Venomous (harmless) snakes that ARE native to Georgia are illegal. (click here to see a list of the non-venomous snakes of Georgia.)
All crocodilian species including alligators, crocodiles and caimans are illegal in Georgia.
Can I turn over illegal reptiles that are dangerous and potentially deadly?
Yes! If you have illegal alliagators, crocodiles, caimans, cobras, rattlesnakes, gopher tortoises, indigo snakes or any reptile that you know you should not have, you can turn it over to us without fear of being turned in for criminal prosecution! Our concern is for the safety of the citizens of Georgia as well as maintaining a healthy natural environment in our state.
If you or someone you know has an illegal reptile and decides to turn it over to us, this in itself does not insure that they will not face criminal prosecution. Many times the Georgia Dept. of Natural Resources as well as the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service have ongoing investigations in reguards to the illegal trafficing of animals. But be assured, we will not turn anyone in who is sincerely trying to do the right thing and give up an illegal animal.
To turn over an illegal reptile, you may call Jason Clark of
Southeastern Reptile Rescue at 404-557-2470.
Or, you can send an e-mail to Jason at email@example.com
Letters may be mailed to Southeastern Reptile Rescue
c/o "Georgia Illegal Reptile Amnesty Program"
P.O. Box 127 Orchard Hill, GA 30266
Please specify the species, size and temperment of the
particular reptile to assist us in handling and housing.
If you do not wish to turn over your illegal animal to us or have
questions regarding our sincerity or legitimacy, you may contact
the Georgia Dept. of Natural Resources Special Permit Unit
directly by calling 770-761-3045.