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The Dangers of Owning an Exotic/Illegal Animal/Reptile


Chief Roy Gross of the Suffolk County SPCA said that owning exotic OR illegal animals/reptiles can be dangerous. A perfect example just occurred. A West Babylon man was airlifted to Jacobi Medical Center after he was bitten by one of his venomous snakes. The owner of the snake was lucky. His injuries were not life threatening.

Not all animals make good pets. Attempting to keep wild animals often ends badly for both the animal and the human.

Big cats, primates, small mammals, birds, and reptiles are available for sale from dealers across the United States . This means the public has easy access to inherently dangerous animals that are unsuitable as pets and illegal in New York State without a proper permit.

Exotic animals do not make good companions and pose serious health risks if they become aggressive. They can also be carriers for diseases and parasites that can cause serious risk of disease.

We have seen the dangers of owning a chimpanzee. Suffolk County has seen its fair share of exotics including alligators, leopards, cougars, bears, snakes and a variety of other animals.

The CDC reports diseases including Herpes B, monkeypox and salmonellosis from owning certain exotics.

Seventy-five (75) deaths have been attributed nationwide to owning some exotics. 5,000 – 7,000 tigers are kept as pets. More tigers are kept as pets than there are in the wild.

Please think before purchasing an exotic animal. You are putting your life and the lives of others in danger and may be facing criminal charges as well!

The Suffolk County SPCA and NYS Department of Environment Conservations will be hosting an Amnesty Day October 15th, 2016. Protected, endangered and threatened animals that require special DEC and US Fish & Wildlife Permits can turn in these animals with no penalties or questions. Contact Suffolk County SPCA (631 382-7722) OR NYS DEC (631 444-0250) for details.

“Protecting Suffolk County’s animals is the only job we do!”
Your Local SPCA Serving Suffolk County
The Suffolk County SPCA is not affiliated with, a subdivision of, or funded by any other local, state or national humane organization.


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