MHS Adoption Program

The MHS Adoption program was started in 1982 when the Minnesota Zoo agreed to use the society as a referral agent for unwanted amphibians and reptiles. Our goal is to place these animals with experienced MHS members. The first year, twenty-five animals found new homes. The first Iguana appeared in October 1983. Approximately 240 animals were adopted in the 1980s. In the 1990s, the number doubled to around 450 animals. This number again doubled to over 900 animals during the 2000s. Currently, we accept approximately 190 animals per year; with the majority being exotics. If this rate continues, will will receive >1,500 animals in the 2010s.

MHS accepts unwanted non-venomous reptiles or amphibians of any kind or in any condition. We suggest a $25 freewill donation for some of the more difficult to place animals. 

MHS will guarantee one of two things. Either we will find a good home (that means someone who has the backing of the society, the proper caging, equipment and knowledge), or the animal may be humanely euthanized. Due to the volume of animals we receive, we cannot guarantee placement. However, very few animals have ever been euthanized and only Iguanas have been put down due to lack of space.


Even if you are not surrendering an animal, please consider a donation to the MHS today. Help support the Adoption Program, and further the MHS mission! Thank you.

Intake Procedure

We receive animals only one day a month except in emergencies which are dealt with on a case by case basis (see dates below). If you have such an emergency, feel free to contact the Adoption Chair in advance. Our regular intake day is the Thursday preceding the meeting date.

Animals should be placed in a container where they can remain safe and secure for 24 hours (a cardboard box, plastic bin or laundry bag will work, depending on the size and type of animal) and delivered to the Adoption Chair between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. in NE Minneapolis.

Contact the Adoption Chair for directions and address on the intake day only (unless a prearranged date has been set).

After animals are dropped off, they are held until the next day in a temperature controlled room and brought to the MHS meeting. If any animal is not adopted, we have some temporary foster care available.

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

Please mention if you have supplies or caging to donate, as well.


If you understand these procedures, there is no need to contact the Adoption Chair before the intake day.


How to Adopt!

In order to adopt an animal you must be a member of the society and be in attendance at our monthly meeting; that is where adoptions occur. Animal intake typically occurs the day before the meeting so we do not know what will be available until the day of the meeting. A list of available adoption animals may be posted on the MHS Adoption Forum by late morning or early afternoon of the meeting date. At the meeting, all available animals are in the back of the room for viewing. Unfortunately, specific information about an animal is not always available. If you see something you want, please fill out an application. At the meeting-break, the Adoption Committee chooses the best home for the animal(s). If there are no applications for an animal, we announce that fosters are needed. Fosters keep the animals until the following meeting. We suggest a $5 free will donation for adoption animals. Children under the age of 18 need their parent's signature in order to be considered. There are typically 10-20 animals at any given meeting.

We DO NOT save animals for people or take requests.

Adoption Chair Contact Information
Sarah Richard, Adoption Chair


Please also refer to the MHS Adoption Policy.


2014 Intake Dates

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014
Thursday, February 6, 2014
Thursday, March 6, 2014
Thursday, April 3, 2014
Thursday, May 1, 2014
Thursday, June 5, 2014
Thursday, July 10, 2014
Thursday, July 31, 2014
Thursday, September 4, 2014
Thursday, October 2, 2014
Thursday, November 6, 2014
Thursday, December 4, 2014



Click here to read the Adoption Policy