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Illegal Reptile Amnesty Day Planned In Suffolk County

An alligator that was found walking in the parking lot of a Pathmark supermarket in Baldwin, NY on Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012 (credit: Handout via Sophia Hall/WCBS 880)

An alligator that was found walking in the parking lot of a Pathmark supermarket in Baldwin, NY on Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012 (credit: Handout via Sophia Hall/WCBS 880)

WEST ISLIP, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — The Suffolk County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals will be holding an amnesty day later this month, where anyone who is keeping an illegal reptile can turn the animal in, no questions asked.

As 1010 WINS’ Holli Haerr reported Wednesday, the event is planned for April 27 at the Sweetbriar Nature Center in Smithtown.

“This is the first opportunity in New York State that’s having such an amnesty program like this one,” Suffolk SPCA Chief Roy Gross said.

He said authorities will not even ask the people’s names, and they will not face charges.

Late last year, at least nine alligators were found abandoned in a period of a few weeks in Suffolk and Nassau counties.

“We got a record number of reptiles that were abandoned,” Gross said.

At the time, Gross did not call the surge in alligator findings on Long Island an epidemic, but he did say that every alligator found was of the same breed and a similar age.

Jennifer, a manager at BTJ Jungle Pet Store in West Islip, said the amnesty day is a good idea. She said sometimes, people ask her store for help with illegal reptiles.

“There’s a lot of people that call up here, saying that they have, you know, alligators; things like that, that we can’t take,” she said.

Gross said anybody who wants to get an up-close look at a reptile, the zoo is a better option.

Do you think the amnesty day is a good idea? Please leave your comments below…