An exotic pet is anything other than a cat, dog, fish, or livestock. In some areas all birds are considered as exotic pets, while in other areas budgies and finches are not "exotic" but parrots and toucans (for example) are. Either way animal shelters are likely to have exotic pets for adoption, especially in larger cities where exotic pets are more common.
Rabbits, hamsters, and guinea pigs, are the most common exotic pets for a shelter to receive on a regular basis. Depending on where you live you might also find ferrets, sugar gliders, hedgehogs, chinchillas, pot bellied pigs, as well as lizards and reptiles.
|two bunnies, photo by author|
Do not expect to find pet wolves or pet tigers for adoption at a local animal shelter, these larger predators usually go to special rescue centers just for those species.
Some animal shelters also deal with livestock. Many rescue horses and have horses for adoption, or worth with another group who has these other animals for adoption.
One of the benefits of adopting an exotic pet from an animal shelter is that the price is considerably lower than if buying the same pet from a pet store.
Additionally the exotic pets that are at the animal shelter for adoption often come with their cage and supplies if these were brought in by the owner who was surrendering their pet.
If you are looking for an exotic pet check your local animal shelter's website, but note these are not updated regularly so you should really try to call or visit and see what pets they have for adoption. Petfinder is a good site to use if you are in Canada, the USA, or Mexico and are looking for an exotic pet to adopt but not every animal shelter lists with them.