Rehoming and Adopting Exotic Pets: What You Should Consider

Updated on July 31, 2019
Kaycee Formont profile image

Kaycee is an exotic pet owner, zoo-lover, and animal welfare advocate.

A rehomed exotic pet may seem like a good, inexpensive option, but these pets require experienced owners.
A rehomed exotic pet may seem like a good, inexpensive option, but these pets require experienced owners. | Source

When rehoming an exotic animal, it is illegal to charge any amount of money, even if this is merely an "adoption fee." This is a violation of USDA law, which requires any person selling an exotic animal to be USDA licensed. Charging money for an exotic animal is a crime that people do get punished for.

If you find yourself needing to rehome your exotic pet, you must surrender it to a sanctuary or give it away to someone for free. When doing so, ensure that whoever is wanting to take your animal is responsible and knowledgeable. If you surrender your pet to an unknowledgeable owner, your pet risks being rehomed again, which can start a vicious cycle that I will later discuss.

I also feel the need to mention that I have not written this article in an attempt to dissuade someone from taking in an exotic animal in need of a rehome. I am writing this article to dissuade inexperienced and unsuitable people from doing so.

A red fox, one of the most common animals you can see being rehomed.
A red fox, one of the most common animals you can see being rehomed. | Source

Is Cheaper Better?

People are mainly drawn to rehomed exotics due to their cheaper prices. For example, a baby kinkajou from a breeder could be $2500, but a rehome could be only $400! The issue here is that people don't realize cheaper isn't better when it comes to exotic animals. The overwhelming majority of exotics (kinkajous, primates, foxes, etc.) will never bond with you like a baby purchased from a breeder would. These animals grow strongly attached to the person who raises them, and often times they won't even want to interact with their new owners.

If you are looking for a cheap or budget-cut way to purchase an exotic, it will not end well for you. It is a must that you properly invest time into your animal, and if you cannot do this, I'd recommend you consider a different animal or a stuffed toy.

Behavior Problems

It's also important to keep in mind that an exotic animal being rehomed is in that situation for a reason. Usually, this is merely because the owner is uneducated and cannot handle their animal, or they cannot care for it any longer (moving or getting married, for example). Sometimes, there can be a legitimate reason, like a fox who is extremely territorial, or a kinkajou who very easily becomes overexcited while playing and ends up biting people.

Re-homing is extremely stressful for exotics and even more so when their new owner doesn't know what they're doing. This, in turn, will create even more problems, and it will make both you and your animal miserable.

I have most certainly seen people take in rehomes and bond with them very well, but these people are not beginners when it comes to exotic animals. They are experienced and know what they're getting into, and they often know how to handle the animal in question.

I discourage anyone lacking experience with the specific exotic species they are interested in from taking a rehomed animal.

The kinkajou is another exotic pet often up for rehoming.
The kinkajou is another exotic pet often up for rehoming. | Source

A Vicious Cycle

Rehoming, when done wrong, can lead to a vicious cycle:

  1. Someone rehomes their pet.
  2. The person who takes in the animal is unprepared or can't handle the animal.
  3. The animal is rehomed once again.
  4. Repeat X amount of times until a proper home is found.

As I have mentioned numerous times, this is incredibly stressful for the animal! Sadly, this process isn't too uncommon.

It's essential to educate people about the special needs rehomed exotic pets might have for this very reason.

Rehomed Exotic Pets Deserve Experienced Owners

Exotics up for rehoming are not going to be the same as a baby animal purchased from a breeder and raised by you; some will never even bond with you. I fully support people taking in exotics needing homes, as long as they know what they're getting into.

I hope you have found this article to be somewhat educational, and I hope it has answered some questions you've had.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)