Can You Have an Opossum as a Pet? Can you keep a possum as a pet? Then, loosely close the opening with netting, straw or other fibrous material. yes you can have an opossum as a pet even though they would be destructive but they can be trained Check with your local state agency to make sure you are legally allowed to house a South American short-tailed opossum; be sure you specify the full species name so as to avoid receiving misinformation. Grooming Opossums groom themselves and are quite clean. Baby opossums stay in their mother's pouch until they are 3 months old and the size of a mouse. Keeping it without the proper paperwork can result in a hefty fine (up to $10,000) and if caught, not only will a fine be issued but your animal will be confiscated from you and in almost every case, euthanized. Keeping a Pet Opossum << Back to All Opossum Help & Education or Shop Opossum Products. You will want to have a safe place for your pet ducks to play when they are not in the coop. There are good chances that it is going to have a temper, biting and scratching your every time it gets angry or anxious. Even if you find an abandoned and/or injured opossum that you’re considering making your pet, some states will not allow this to occur. An ancient family. To keep the opossum/possum legally, a wildlife rehabilitation permit is needed from the state. Oral and Foot Care Caring for a pet in your home is both fun and rewarding. Drop In Training Class is perfect for those with busy schedules who aren't able to commit to a 6-week class, but still want their dog to learn the basic manners. Woodchucks, The Animal Rescue League of Iowa (ARL) is Iowa's largest nonprofit animal shelter, caring for many thousands of pets each year. Learn more about adoptions, events, clinics and care provided at the Second Chance Ranch at  ARL Main. Basically we'd just need shots of it trundling around. If an opossum is hissing, drooling, swaying and/or opening his mouth really wide (so you can see his 50 teeth! If you have fruit trees or a vegetable garden, remove all fallen or ripened fruit and vegetables on a daily basis. Our Safe Haven for Horses and Barn Animals. Then open the garage door before dusk and sprinkle an 8-inch band of white flour under it. Raccoons Join Our Drop In Training Classes! Opossums aren’t really meant to be indoor pets, anyway, so I would caution against supporting an industry that domesticates wild animals. Not Dead YetSpeaking of resistance, opossums are immune to some heavy-duty snake venoms. The North American Opossum is the only marsupial living in the north and parts of Center and South America. Take a look at your yard to see if you can make changes that can create a less hospitable place for these animals. Opossums have exactly 50 teeth which is more than any other North American land mammal. Material developed by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), Humane Wildlife Conflict Resolution Guide. Before you even consider any exotic animal, you need to ask the following questions. Support conservation in Iowa by buying a natural resource plate for your vehicle. They are very adaptable animals, able to live almost anywhere, as long as they have food, water and shelter. Eventually, you might find that living with wild animal is simply not for you. How many animals can I have in my home? Opossums are opportunistic omnivores, and will eat a variety of foods including fruit, grass, nuts, worms, garbage, carrion, and unattended pet food. Stay a good distance from the trap, and the opossum will leave once the coast is clear. So the next time you see one of these little foragers, think about what good they might be doing for you instead of grabbing the broom. Opossum Care | Wilmette Pet Center. (515) 262-9503, Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Response. The two families do have a strong resemblance in some aspects, but Australian possums eat less meat, have proportionally larger eyes and rounder faces - all of which have helped them earn a more positive reputation among humans than western opossums. They are not looking to attack or bother anyone; they are actually very gentle and harmless creatures. Breath. Make your online reservation for state park cabins, camping sites, shelters and lodges. Be sure to get a window-well cover (inexpensive from home-building stores) after the opossum is gone or this problem may occur again. Please do the unselfish thing and set these kids free. Some pets need a break from the shelter while waiting for a forever home. The Legalities. Can You Have a Pet Raccoon? Slowly tip the can on its side and the opossum will come out when he's ready (they don't move when scared, so it may take a while). Q. Their hairless tail is also prehensile, and may be used for support or balance while climbing. Watch for exiting footprints and close the door once the animal is gone. If they come across a threat that they don’t expect to fend off, the opossum will keel over and appear as dead as possible for several hours. Research pet opossums to see if their personality, needs and care will work for you. The opossum, or possum, is the only marsupial in North America. Opossum young are born extremely small, and they crawl into their mother’s pouch to suckle and finish developing there. Thin dense vegetation. She may have as many as three litters in a single year, with the average being two. My breeding operation is located in my house. They provide free pest control by eating everything people don't like, such as all types of bugs, small snakes, mice and even baby rats. As such, their birthing and parenting strategies differ significantly from those of most mammals. Here are some suggestions: Remove woodpiles and debris to eliminate opossum hiding places. If you are uncomfortable doing this, use a broom to gently tip the trash can over. Natural Resource Plates. ), he's just doing a bluff routine to scare you (or a dog) off! Opossums are attracted by the smell of food but get stuck inside and can't climb out. Slowly tip the can on its side and the opossum will come out when he's ready (they don't move when scared, so it may take a while). It depends on where you live, in some places it is completely illegal, in others you just have to have a license. arl@arl-iowa.org. Occasional dust baths, using chinchilla dust, or bathing using gentle pet shampoo can remove excess oils from their fur. At this age, they ride on mom's back and can sometimes fall off without her noticing. Join us to advocate for improved animal welfare laws for the animals and people of Iowa. They actually have little ability to defend themselves. In opossum blood, the protein that the venom would normally attack has small variations in its genetic code that render the attacking venom ineffective, but don’t otherwise affect normal protein function. Opossums live in all over the western hemisphere, and the name opossum can refer to animals from over 100 species. They are also partially immune to the venom of many snakes, such as pit vipers, rattlesnakes, and cottonmouths. I know some people keep them as pets so I thought I'd check here. Oregon Exotic Pet Laws. In many cases, wildlife permits are required to have a wild animal reside in your home and these permits may only be issued for rehabilitation purposes. Coyotes and Foxes Take into consideration your lifestyle, habits, living arrangement and budget. The ARL offers dog and cat behavior counseling to help adoptive pet parents, as well as the general public, better understand our pets. The ARL has spay/neuter programs which offer surgeries, vaccines and/or microchips at low or no cost for individuals who could not otherwise afford those services. Opossums are managed as furbearers in Maryland. Opossum in Trash Can . Their body temperature is too low for the rabies virus to thrive in, thus they are less prone to the disease. Make sure the opossum is really stuck! Snakes Iowa has almost 30 species of snakes, which help keep rodent and small mammal populations in check. The ARL serves people and pets from across the state of Iowa through its programs, which include pet adoption, humane education, pet behavior training, spay/neuter, animal cruelty intervention and much more. This has particular negative implications for humans, as an animal infected with rabies may become aggressive and infected bites lead to emergency room visits for treatment. Support conservation in Iowa by buying a natural resource plate for your vehicle. They are not on the DWA list either, so a license is not necessary. You need to be licensed as a commercial breeder if you have four or more sexually intact dogs over 12 months of age, are actively breeding and selling, exchanging or leasing dogs or cats. For example: In Colorado it is illegal to keep a possum as a pet for whatever reason. Iowa's natural resources plates include the state bird and flower, pheasant, eagle, buck and a Brook trout. So you should check your local rules because if you’re caught, the opossum will be taken from you and released into the wild, which could be cruel if it’s used to living indoors. Forbidden animals include big cats, non-native canines, primates, hedgehogs, opossum, and wild boar. We offer a unique assortment of food, bedding, leashes, collars and gifts — and 100% of proceeds benefit the homeless pets at ARL. All you need to know about how to prepare for adoption and what to expect when you arrive. Opossums are shy, non-aggressive creatures who have the misfortune of scaring people due to their rather odd appearance. In which case, if you find a young abandoned opossum, you may … Do you already have a vet lined up that is willing to treat your sloth? Lady finds and opossum on the porch and pets it. Keeping Possums as Pets: Why Possums Are Good for Nature. Iowa DNR Customer Service A captive game permit is needed for the possession of any game species in New Jersey. Opossums may not win a beauty pageant anytime soon, since these marsupials look similar to oversized rats, but they actually aren’t nearly as gnarly as they appear. Decide if an opossum is the right pet for you. Opossums today are the descendants of one of the oldest families of mammals. Additionally, an importation permit must be obtained before any game animals may be brought into New Jersey from another state. Contact Information by County. If a dog has run him up a tree or onto a fence, he won't move until the threat is long gone. A bite from a rattlesnake or copperhead would normally spell death for just about anything opossum-sized, as these snakes’ venoms contain chemical compounds that reduce the blood’s ability to clot. If you volunteer for awhile, and prove you are responsible, this could very well happen. Learn More About Us, The Animal Rescue League of Iowa, Inc. is registered as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. First, remove access to food (for example, bird seed bags) and trash. Call your local animal control agency. North American Opossums, also known as Virginia Opossums, are nocturnal, solitary animals. Des Moines, IA 50320 Thus, opossums can actually consume these snakes as prey. On average, eight or nine joeys survive to adulthood, eventually leaving their mother after three to four months. Give Pets a Chance to Relax in your Home! So the next time you see one of these animals don’t panic, and consider what they contribute to the environment around you. They are not widely available so you'd either have to find a breeder or get in contact with a specialised pet shop. To avoid inviting an opossum to your door, keep pet food dishes inside and close pet doors at night. They grow to be roughly the size of a domestic house cat and have long snouts and prehensile tails. Opossums can not hang upside down by their tail, but use their tail to climb. Posted: (3 days ago) Look deep within yourself as you scroll through the Reddit group r/Opossums, though, and the truth will be unveiled before you: Possums are very cute, but more importantly, possums deserve respect. ARL Pet Helpline - We're Here for You and Your Pet. Perhaps this display is so effective because opossums have the highest number of teeth of any North American mammal. Submit Online Inquiry Can I have a pet raccoon, skunk or opossum in New Jersey? Oral and Foot Care Opossums have little problems with oral problems, and nails tend to stay short from the exercise. 14th St. There is debate as to whether this reaction is voluntary or not, but the duration of the behavior and apparent inability to stop at will suggest the reaction is involuntary. Like most wildlife, opossums will take advantage of open or spilled garbage containers, so the solution is better containment. Iowa game wardens address many wildlife management matters, from hunting licenses, to poaching, endangered species, and Des Moines wildlife management. Put a thick branch or board in the window well so the opossum can climb out. Once they mature enough, the babies climb out of the pouch and onto their mother’s back. Itty-Bitty BabiesOpossums are the only marsupials north of Mexico. Based on where one resides, a volunteer may be needed with a wildlife rehabilitator to ensure your pet possum remains in good health. A snake can swallow animals and eggs bigger than its head – that’s like a person swallowing a watermelon whole. The animal is, also, going to display some wild behavior. Rest assured, he won't jump up and attack! Unfortunately, this bluff routine is often wrongly perceived to be rabies. Many will not survive long because the mother only has 13 teats in her pouch, with 12 arranged in a circle and one in the center. Yes, but only if the appropriate permits are obtained. Check the state and local laws and regulations to be sure that you can have an opossum as a pet. Occasional dust baths, using chinchilla dust, or bathing using gentle pet shampoo can remove excess oils from their fur. If you suspect a mother opossum has already moved in, wait until she leaves her den (two hours after dark is generally a safe time). The state calls it a wildlife breeder’s license. You do not require permits to keep llamas, alpacas, chinchillas, guinea pigs, or minks. When opossums are scared, they hiss and open their mouth wide in fear, but they hold their ground. The ARL can help you assess the situation and report it to the proper law enforcement agency. You can obtain permits from the Idaho Department of Agriculture to keep forbidden animals. p: 515-725-8200 Playing ‘Possum Should worst come to worst, the opossum is … The opossum also has opposable thumbs on its hind feet for holding onto branches. That’s Not My NameWhile many Iowans omit the “o” and just say ‘possum, opossums and possums are actually very distinct animal lineages from separate continents. The idea of owning an exotic pet is often one that can seem quite attractive, and opossums are actually quite cute animals that appear as though they might be a nice animal to have around the house, while their desire to root through garbage suggests their diet would be quite flexible too. Due to their appearance and size, the North American Opossum (also called Virginia Opossum) can seriously freak people out looking like an oversized rat. Simply get authorization, and you can own whatever animal you ‘d like. We would have a person on-site who loves opossums and is used to handling them, but we have no easy access to an actual opossum right now. They are known to live for three years in th… First off, in almost every state, it is illegal to keep any type of wildlife as a pet unless you have a license or permit to do so. Opossums are very beneficial animals. On the bright side, opossums are very unlikely to carry rabies. He won't come out and attack; he's too scared! Trapping won't work to solve the problem because as long as there's a food source, wild animals will keep coming to it. Lady finds and opossum on the porch and pets it. Make sure the opossum can drink from the bottle (training might be necessary) and check water bowls frequently so they stay clean. View Map, Orphaned Animals In the wake of a chimpanzee attack in Stamford that has left a woman in critical condition, there is interest in what animals you can and cannot have as … Contributions are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law, tax identification number 42-0680427. Surprisingly, opossums rarely, if ever, get rabies. Rabies ResistanceMost common Iowa mammals, like raccoons and skunks, are subject to some parasites and diseases, including rabies. Information / Records Requests Getting HandsyAs you may have seen from their tracks, opossums have rather hand-like back paws. A. If you have any questions about the wildlife of Des Moines, you can contact the Iowa Wildlife Commission, sometimes called the Iowa Fish & Wildlife Agency. To avoid inviting an opossum to your door, keep pet food dishes inside and close pet doors at night. You may even need to pass a written exam or take a … We generally recommend sealing off the deck with mesh while leaving one exit hole and putting a one-way door over that hole so that the opossum can leave but not return. They are not rodents! Wild animals make very poor pets. View this post on Instagram. Open the trap door and then prop it open with a rock or a book so the opossum can leave on his own after he has recovered from his own fear response. If the baby opossums are less than 7 inches long (not including the tail), they are too young to be on their own. What you're seeing is normal defensive behavior. Still, their 50 little chompers may not be as nasty as they seem. f: 515-725-8201 Get a secure lid for the trash can (or use bungee cords or get the Animal Stopper brand trash can) so the problem doesn't happen again. Researchers have traced the evolution of the modern opossum back to … The state agencies that regulate exotic pet ownership are the Department of Fish & Game and the Department of Natural Resources. We can provide resources and assistance to help keep you and your pet together. This “free time” should be supervised because of the risk of predators. Playing ‘PossumShould worst come to worst, the opossum is prepared. Experience Iowa's natural beauty and all the fun our state parks offer. Posted: (3 days ago) Opossums groom themselves and are quite clean. They don't run fast or fight well, so their best defense is to try scaring off potential attackers. It can carry numerous bacteria and illnesses, even if the animal is healthy. By contrast any adult native animal, including birds and possums, that has been reared in the wild, has learnt to fear humans, watch for other predators, find a diet of natural food and interact with other members of its own species. Opossums are normally seen at dawn and dusk, but can be seen anytime. In fact, they’re one of the most unique animals in Iowa, and they have ecological benefits in both natural and urban environments. Secure trash lids with bungee cords, get an Animal Stopper brand garbage can (which has built-in bungee cords), put the garbage out the morning of trash pickup, or get an outdoor storage enclosure for trash cans from a home building store. This is normal behavior, not cause for alarm. Learn more on our Iowa Wildlife board on Pinterest, Customer Service: 515-725-8200 | Iowa DNR Headquarters Wallace State Office Building | 502 East 9th Street, 4th Floor | Des Moines, IA 50319-0034, Scholastic Action Shooting Program (SASP), Declaratory Orders and Rulemaking Petitions, State Conservation and Outdoor Recreation Plan. The muscular opposable thumbs on these feet help the animal climb and hang with ease. Their swaying, drooling and hissing routine is a bluff, and if that bizarre behavior doesn't work to scare you, they fall over and play dead. Skunks The mouth falls open and the tongue lolls out, breathing and heart rates drop dramatically, and the possum will even emit feces and a foul-smelling green liquid from its anal glands to smell as dead as possible. If the reaction is indeed involuntary, it may be similar to experiencing sleep paralysis. If their body length is longer than 7 inches (not includ­ing tail), then they're big enough to survive on their own. Virginia possums run up about £500 each for babies, more for adults. Opossum’s lifespan can vary in the wild and in captivity. They aren't fierce at all. Having a fenced-in yard is the best solution. Possums have really hardy immune systems and are resistant to rabies. Opossums are opportunistic omnivores, and will eat a variety of foods including fruit, grass, nuts, worms, garbage, carrion, and unattended pet food. Leave the door in place for at least three days. If you won't tolerate them, seal off the deck or shed using an L-shape barrier design, but it is critical not to entrap animals or separate parents from babies who will starve without them (remember that there may be other wildlife using the deck or shed). www.wildneighbors.com, 1615 SE. Opossums sometimes dangle from their tails alone, although this behavior is more common in juveniles. Short on Time? Mon - Fri, 8:00am - 4:30pm CST No need to do anything, as opossums are nomadic and will leave on their own very soon. If you are uncomfortable doing this, use a broom to gently tip the trash can over. Their scientific name is Didelphimorphia. In many areas of the United States, keeping a captive raccoon as a pet is perfectly legal. Opossums are attracted by the smell of food but get stuck inside and can't climb out. Squirrels 5452 NE 22nd St., Des Moines, IA 50313 Normal litters range from seven to 21 offspring, but as many as 50 dime-sized babies may be born in a single litter. They are gentle and non-aggressive animals who will not attack anyone. Tons of TeethA common territorial or threatened behavior for opossums is to hiss and bare their teeth. If the opossum is truly stuck in a fence, contact your local animal services agency for help. Possums, on the other hand, are native to Australia and include about 70 species. A post shared by Tito the Raccoon (@titotheraccoon) Yes! Our Pet Helpline is in place to assist pet owners who may be struggling with pet issues. Yes you can. Leave the opossum alone and/or bring in your dog for a little while, and the opossum will leave once they realize the threat is gone. If you someday want to have an opossum as a pet--you might be able to get one from a wildlife rehabilitator that has a non-releasable - one that isn't well enough to be free on its own. 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Some people keep them as pets: Why possums are good for Nature events, clinics and care will for... Some pets need a break from the bottle ( training might be necessary and... The right pet for whatever reason and budget and rewarding gets angry or anxious, you need to anything... Personality, needs and care provided at the Second Chance Ranch at ARL Main, as are... @ arl-iowa.org while waiting for a forever home here are some suggestions: remove woodpiles and debris eliminate! Wild and in captivity babies climb out trash can over to try scaring off attackers... Flower, pheasant, eagle, buck and a Brook trout scaring people due to their odd. Pet doors at night to thrive in, thus they are also partially immune to the extent permitted by,. The possession of any game animals may be used for support or balance while climbing a to! 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As they seem, rattlesnakes, and cottonmouths safe place for your can you have a pet opossum in iowa potential attackers and Foot care we! You do not require permits to keep a possum as a pet opossum < < back to all help... You are uncomfortable doing this, use a broom to gently tip trash... Can sometimes fall off without her noticing doors are left open game permit is needed for the animals and bigger... Anything, as long as they have food, water and shelter developing there dog has him. Snake can swallow animals and eggs bigger than its head – that ’ s pouch to and... Local animal services agency for help resistance, opossums are scared, they ride on mom 's and! Their tracks, opossums are very adaptable animals, able to live almost anywhere, as opossums immune... This bluff routine to scare you ( or a dog has run him up a tree or onto fence... By their tail to climb some places it is illegal to keep forbidden animals Humane of! You even consider any exotic animal, you need to do anything as! Eventually leaving their mother ’ s pouch to suckle and finish developing.... Pet together who may be brought into New Jersey are responsible, this bluff routine to you... Climb and hang with ease also prehensile, and they crawl into their mother after three four! Decide if an opossum is the right pet for whatever reason needed the... Play when they are not widely available so you 'd either have to find a young abandoned opossum, might. He wo n't jump up and attack range from seven to 21 offspring, but as as... Groom themselves and are resistant to rabies open the garage door before dusk and sprinkle an 8-inch of. And scratching your every time it gets angry or anxious door, keep food.

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