SAVANNAH, GA (July 15, 2015): Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department’s Animal Control Division with support of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, has designated Saturday, July 18 as Georgia’s first Pet Amnesty Day, when owners of exotic animals, including species that are illegal in the state, may surrender pets without consequence.

This one-day event gives exotic animal owners an opportunity to surrender pets they are unable to care for or no longer desire to own. Targeted animals include birds, snakes, hamsters, lizards to raccoons, monkeys, etc.

Exotic animals prohibited in Georgia and those without permits also may be surrendered without penalty to the owner. This includes rabies vector species such as bats, raccoons and foxes. All animals turned in will be rehomed after receiving veterinary care. Pets requiring permits that were surrendered without documentation will be placed with properly licensed citizens and animal care facilities by DNR.

“Pet Amnesty Day provides a chance for animals other than dogs and cats to get a second shot at receiving the care and attention all pets deserve,” said SCMPD Animal Control Supervisor Christina Sutherin. “Of course dogs and cats can be surrendered during this event; but the focus is on exotic varieties. Releasing them to us provides a better option than releasing them into the wild, which can wreak havoc on native ecosystems.”

For Chatham County residents, Animal Control will pre-schedule collection of any pet an owner wishes to surrender on Pet Amnesty Day. Participants residing outside of Chatham County or without appointments may deliver pets to Animal Control on Saturday from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Staff will receive pets in the parking lot between Animal Control and the Humane Society of Greater Savannah at 7211 Sallie Mood Drive.

All pick-up requests must be scheduled by 3 p.m. Friday, July 17 by calling Jessica or Christina at 912-652-6575. Requests also can be emailed to