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Pet microchip initiative aims to cut down on invasive iguana species in Florida

BONITA SPRINGS, Fla. – The state of Florida is hoping that a new chipping plan will help them cut back on invasive species.

Chipping a pet can help reunite pets with their owners when they get lost, but now could help determine whether an animal is a pet or a pest.

John Paeno of Bonita Springs has a pet green iguana that he found when he was a baby.

“I reached out an a grabbed it, and brought it, up and said it’s a little baby iguana!” Paeno said.

That was months ago when FWC was considering adding them and Tegus to the state’s prohibited species list – banning them from the pet trade.

“They asked me, are you going to let it go, and I said no it’s an invasive species. At the time, FWC was just talking about banning them,” Paeno said.

Once that law passed, Paeno decided to take Max in to get him chipped with FWC, making his status as a pet official.

FWC recently hosted a chipping event at Lee County Domestic Animal Services, open for any pet lizard that was grandfathered in before the law was passed.

“And those that are grandfathered in, have them established as pets, they are allowed to keep them for the duration of its life, but they have to be microchipped and get an annual permit every year,” said Adam Brown, Wildlife Officer for FWC.

Now, if you own an Iguana or a Tegu as a pet, FWC says you have until July 28th to get it chipped at a Veterinary Office.

But after that date, every Tegu or Iguana found in Florida without a chip and permit has to be destroyed.

The post Pet microchip initiative aims to cut down on invasive iguana species in Florida appeared first on NBC2 News.


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