Surrender, Don’t Release: Oct. 28 Habitattitude Pet Surrender Event Aims to Help Exotic Pet Owners

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 October 28 between 10 am and 3 pm at 1000 Islands Environmental Center. Volunteers will be accepting fish, snakes, reptiles, aquarium plants, cats, dogs and other small mammals–no questions asked.

What is Habitatitude and why is it needed?

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 into the wild is the right thing to do. However, many aquarium species are exotic and if they become established in the environment, can wreak serious havoc as non-native species. The national Habitattitude campaign lists several alternatives to pet release with rehoming being one of the best options. To learn more, visit

What is the Habitattitude Rehoming Network?

The Habitattitude Rehoming Network of the Green Bay and Fox Cities is an 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 and Green Bay Aquarium Society (GBAS) are hosting the October 28th event with help from several other area organizations including: Kingdom Animalia Exotic Animal Rescue, Roseberry Bird Rescue, Fox-Wolf Watershed Alliance, Winnebago Waterways Program, Steve Keller’s Traveling Snake Show, and Madison Area Herpetological Society.

Fun for the Whole Family!

Furthermore, there will be live animal demonstrations, arts and crafts, and expert advice on hand so come visit us even if you don’t have a pet to rehome! Following the surrender event, GBAS is hosting a fish auction on October 29th at the Starlite Club in Kaukauna. Therefore, any fresh or saltwater fish surrendered at the event 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.”

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,” says Tim, “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.”

Questions regarding the Habitattitude Surrender Event can be directed to John Moyles of GBAS. He can be reached at


This article was written by Chris Acy, Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator of the Winnebago Waterways Program.


Leave A Comment