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Surrender, Don’t Release

Do you have a pet that you are no longer able to care for? If so, bring your pet to the Habitattitude Surrender Event on Oct. 1 between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. at 1000 Islands Environmental Center, 1000 Beaulieu Court, Kaukauna. Volunteers will be accepting fish, snakes, reptiles and aquarium plants–no questions asked.

The Habitattitude Rehoming Network is a new area resource that aims to provide responsible alternatives to release for exotic pet owners who are no longer able to care for their pets. The network, along with the Green Bay Aquarium Society (GBAS), Steve Keller the Snake Man and the Fox Valley Humane Association are hosting the October event.

In addition to the surrender event, GBAS is hosting a fish auction on Oct. 2 at the Starlite Club, W2091 County Highway JJ, Kaukauna. Any freshwater or saltwater fish surrendered will be included in the auction.

John Moyles, GBAS president, is looking forward to the surrender event.

“We are happy to provide a safe place for aquarium pet owners to surrender their pets, no questions asked,” said Moyles. “Having the surrender event the day before the auction helps us to rehome fish quickly without having to worry about long-term foster care and storage.”

In some areas, there are no rehoming options for animals such as fish, snakes. and turtles. Given limited resources, pet owners unable to care for their pet may think that releasing the animal is the right thing to do. However, many aquarium species are exotic and if they become established in the environment, can wreak serious havoc. The national Habitattitude campaign lists several alternatives to pet release with rehoming being one of the best options. To learn more, visit www.habitattitude.net

Tim Campbell, an aquatic invasive species specialist for UW-Extension and Wisconsin Sea Grant, is excited about the development of this new resource for pet owners.

“There are several benefits of having resources such as surrender events or the rehoming network,” said Campbell. “One of which is that these resources help to prevent the spread of invasive species by providing a responsible alternative to releasing unwanted pets in our lakes and rivers.”

Contact the Fox Valley Humane Association at (920) 733-1717 if you have a dog, cat, or other small mammal that needs a new home.