On Sunday, dozens of people got a chance to microchip their pets with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. This as a way to keep your reptiles safe and protect Florida’s native wildlife.
Echo is a green iguana and a valued member of the Holland family. Weston Holland lives in Cape Coral. “Most people probably wouldn’t think an iguana would be very sweet but he has such a nice personality,” said Weston.
Weston and Luke brought Echo to Lee County Animal Services to perform their duty as pet owners.
“He’s become a beloved pet for Weston so we didn’t want to just give him up,” said Luke.
FWC hosted a “Tag Your Reptile” day. This gave owners of Green Iguanas and Tegus the opportunity to tag their pets.
This is now a requirement for owners in Florida. The state passed new rules that took effect in April as a way to address the 16 high-risk invasive reptiles, which include Green Iguanas and Tegus.
Carol Lyn Parrish is FWC’s Public Information Officer. “It’s much like the process if you would put a pit tag into your cat or your dog same thing,” Parish said. “It’s a way the animal becomes permanently registered to you through a microchip that’s inserted under the skin.
Each tracking device comes with a number that the pet owner then has to register. FWC will then scan the number and connect it to a database. This will help track down the owner.
“That tagging system will be able to help us differentiate between something that’s a personal pet and somethings that’s a wild non-native species,” said Parrish.
Within ten minutes, Echo was returned to Weston, in great condition but possibly a little camera shy.
“He seems pretty relaxed but he’s a little nervous,” said Weston.
That 90-day grace period to complete this process is July 28. If you weren’t able to make it out on Sunday, FWC advises you to talk with your Veterinarian to go through the tagging process.