It’s a wildlife take back over at the Erie Humane Society.
Erie Pet Amnesty Day avoids the release of the unwanted wildlife that could harm other animals.
Here is why it is important for many people to think twice before caring for a wildlife pet.
Up, up, up she goes. This is an average size adult red-eared turtle.
She and her fellow species are setting the example on how big of a responsibility it is for many to care for them.
“We’re hoping that folks who have these animals instead of releasing them into the wild, bring them to us. And we can maintain them when appropriate adopt them out into appropriate homes,” said Keith Gisser, Executive Director of HERPS Alive Foundation.
Gisser said that these types of turtles can capture the hearts of many children and adults.
Many people however are aware of how big these turtles can grow and how long of a commitment it can be to care for them.
These turtles can grow so big, they can live to at least 50 years. Gisser said that it’s a huge responsibility owning a reptile pet.
“A year down the road can be very, very different. That’s why we’re seeing more and more need for this right now than we have in the past,” said Gisser.
The organization’s main focus is to have these species in a safe place.
“This is a way to provide people with an opportunity to do the responsible thing and not release into the environment,” said Sarah Stahlman, Extension Lead for Pennsylvania Sea Grant.
Over 150 of these pet species have already found their way to non-native habitats worldwide.
They’re most likely spread through local waterways and lakes. So Gisser said that they don’t belong there.
“They’re going to outcompete for food. They’re more aggressive they will fight with the other turtles and eventually we’ll get to a point where we lose our native turtles,” said Gisser.