At this time, the MHS is not accepting any animals for surrender to the Adoption program.

If you have questions about a WILD animal, please contact  the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Roseville, MN at (651) 486-9453

If you are considering surrendering or adopting an animal, please read the following for details:

To SURRENDER an animal:

The Minnesota Herpetological Society is a 100% volunteer-run organization with no paid staff or permanent location. We accept animals into our program one day a month. Our regular intake day is the Thursday before our general meeting. If you would like to surrender an animal, please send an email to  with contact details (name and phone number) and information about your situation. A member of the adoption committee will get back to you as soon as possible.

Animals that require special handling or husbandry equipment (large constricting snakes, large lizards, large turtles/tortoises and alligators) or exceed our current capacity may need to wait until a suitable foster situation can be arranged.  When you contact us to pre-register your animal, we will let you know about our current capabilities.

When animals are surrendered, a release must be signed, and the owner forfeits all rights regarding the animal. All future information, including placement, is privileged and remains confidential.

Our current intake location is in Minneapolis and intake will be held between 4 and 6pm on the following dates:

**Due to the pandemic, no intake events are being held until further notice.**

Please call or email to confirm these dates.


After you have pre-registered your animal, you will be sent an email with complete intake details, including the location.

To ADOPT an animal:

You must be a member in good standing of the Minnesota Herpetological Society to adopt or foster an animal from our Adoption Program. You must also be at the meeting to submit an Adoption Request Form for an animal.

Animal Intake generally occurs the day before the meeting, so we are aware of some of the animals that will be offered for adoption at the meeting.  A list of available adoption animals is usually posted to the MHS Facebook page the day of the meeting.  All available animals will be in the back of the meeting space by 6:30pm for viewing. Unfortunately, specific information about an animal is not always available.  If you are interested in adopting an animal, please complete an application and give it to a member of the adoption committee before the speaker begins their presentation.  Please arrive early so you can observe the animals before the meeting begins.  Adoption Request Forms are collected before the speaker begins, usually about 7:15pm.

If there are no applications submitted for an animal, there will be a need for fosters. Fosters are responsible for the animal until the next meeting. To foster an animal, you must be a current member and have a completed Foster Agreement Form on file.

Children under the age of 18 need a parent’s signature to be able to adopt or foster an animal.

We DO NOT save animals or take requests from individuals.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What happens to an animal I surrender?
A: Animals that are surrendered to MHS are given a physical exam by a veterinarian who decides if the animal can be adopted, or if it needs to be held back to recover from any injuries/illnesses. An animal that is cleared for adoption by the veterinarian is brought to our general meeting where members can put in a form to adopt it. We go through the adoption applications and place the animal in an appropriate home. If an animal is not adopted out at that meeting, we will place it in a foster home until it finds its forever home.

Q: Do I need to donate the animal’s enclosure with them?
A: No, we prefer the animals surrendered in a clear, plastic storage bin that has a latch to prevent escapes. This is just to transport the animals. These containers allow us to visualize the animal and transport it without the possibility of injuring the animal. We can accept new or gently-used items in good condition. All donated items should be clean and unbroken. Items must be cleared in advance. Contact us beforehand as we need to be able to transport the animals AND donations to the meeting. We may require you to bring the equipment to our general meeting. Please email for more details. The Minnesota Herpetological Society is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization so donations are tax-deductible.

Q: I want to surrender a large tortoise/turtle, iguana, or large constrictor. Why do I have to wait?
A: These animals are unfortunately very abundant and require special care and experience. Oftentimes, these animals require a large amount of space to thrive and we do not want to compromise an animal’s health. We do not have a physical facility to house these animals and instead rely on volunteers. Many of our volunteers do not have the space that these animals truly require.

Q: What happens to the money I donate?
A: The money that you donate is used to provide medication and medical treatment for animals if they have the possibility of recovery. Oftentimes we get animals that have infections that will kill the animal if they go untreated. Reptiles often require multiple courses of the antibiotic.

Q: I would like to surrender an invertebrate (ex tarantula, scorpion, etc) will you accept this animal?
A: We can accept invertebrates on a case by case basis, please send an email for further information.

Q: I want to adopt ________ animal, do you have any?
A: Animals available for adoption are posted on our Facebook page the day before the general meeting. To adopt an animal, you must be a member ( Current members can apply to adopt available animals at our general meetings.  There is no associated fee, though donations are permitted, and you must be at the meeting to submit an Adoption Request Form for an animal. We will often have red-eared sliders, bearded dragons, and ball pythons in foster care available for adoption. Please send us an email if you are interested.

Q: I saw an animal posted on Facebook, how do I adopt this animal?
A: All animals available for adoption are first brought to the general meeting. If you want to adopt this animal, you must be a member. (  Current members can apply to adopt available animals at our general meetings.  There is no associated fee, though donations are permitted. You must be at the meeting to submit an Adoption Request Form for an animal.

Q: I found an injured native reptile/amphibian.  How can I rehabilitate it?
A: Please contact a local rehabilitation center. Please be aware that it is illegal to rehabilitate wildlife in Minnesota without a DNR permit.

Q. I found a reptile/amphibian outside during very cold weather.  Will it be okay?
A. The Minnesota Herpetological Society recommends leaving any native reptiles or amphibians where you found them whenever possible, even in cold weather. Many reptiles and amphibians can tolerate temperatures in the 40s, and some are even active into the 30s.   If the animal has been identified as non-native, they can be brought indoors and allowed to acclimate to room temperature. Under no circumstances should a chilled reptile or amphibian be exposed to a heating lamp or heating pad– rapidly heating a reptile or amphibian may result in shock and even death of the animal.

Q. I found a reptile/amphibian inside my house.  What should I do?
A. You should have the animal identified. If it ends up being a native amphibian or reptile, and if the temperature is above 40 F, it’s best to release it outside in your yard. Please do not move the animal to a local park, as amphibians and reptiles have defined home territories. If it is a non-native species, please contact the MHS Adoption Program.

Q: Can I foster an animal for the Minnesota Herpetological Society?
A: Members are eligible to foster animals that have not yet been adopted.  There is a required annual form and foster placements are made at the discretion of the committee.  If you are interested in fostering, please contact

For additional information, please contact us at, or use the form below.