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. In which case, if you find a young abandoned opossum, you may … 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. Rabies ResistanceMost common Iowa mammals, like raccoons and skunks, are subject to some parasites and diseases, including rabies. yes you can have an opossum as a pet even though they would be destructive but they can be trained Opossums can not hang upside down by their tail, but use their tail to climb. Not Dead YetSpeaking of resistance, opossums are immune to some heavy-duty snake venoms. 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. To avoid inviting an opossum to your door, keep pet food dishes inside and close pet doors at night. Learn more about adoptions, events, clinics and care provided at the Second Chance Ranch at  ARL Main. Support conservation in Iowa by buying a natural resource plate for your vehicle. North American Opossums, also known as Virginia Opossums, are nocturnal, solitary animals. Normal litters range from seven to 21 offspring, but as many as 50 dime-sized babies may be born in a single litter. 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. How many animals can I have in my home? 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. Material developed by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), Humane Wildlife Conflict Resolution Guide. A snake can swallow animals and eggs bigger than its head – that’s like a person swallowing a watermelon whole. No need to do anything, as opossums are nomadic and will leave on their own very soon. They are also partially immune to the venom of many snakes, such as pit vipers, rattlesnakes, and cottonmouths. For example: In Colorado it is illegal to keep a possum as a pet for whatever reason. Decide if an opossum is the right pet for you. Raccoons Iowa game wardens address many wildlife management matters, from hunting licenses, to poaching, endangered species, and Des Moines wildlife management. 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. They are not on the DWA list either, so a license is not necessary. Occasional dust baths, using chinchilla dust, or bathing using gentle pet shampoo can remove excess oils from their fur. Researchers have traced the evolution of the modern opossum back to … Itty-Bitty BabiesOpossums are the only marsupials north of Mexico. 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. My breeding operation is located in my house. Coyotes and Foxes Check the state and local laws and regulations to be sure that you can have an opossum as a pet. Keeping Possums as Pets: Why Possums Are Good for Nature. Opossums are attracted by the smell of food but get stuck inside and can't climb out. Grooming Opossums groom themselves and are quite clean. A. The Legalities. Opossum in Trash Can . Like most wildlife, opossums will take advantage of open or spilled garbage containers, so the solution is better containment. 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. Our Safe Haven for Horses and Barn Animals. Trapping won't work to solve the problem because as long as there's a food source, wild animals will keep coming to it. Yes you can. Baby opossums stay in their mother's pouch until they are 3 months old and the size of a mouse. 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). 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. Having a fenced-in yard is the best solution. Then open the garage door before dusk and sprinkle an 8-inch band of white flour under it. A captive game permit is needed for the possession of any game species in New Jersey. Snakes Iowa has almost 30 species of snakes, which help keep rodent and small mammal populations in check. Basically we'd just need shots of it trundling around. You may even need to pass a written exam or take a … 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 very adaptable animals, able to live almost anywhere, as long as they have food, water and shelter. Then, loosely close the opening with netting, straw or other fibrous material. We can provide resources and assistance to help keep you and your pet together. Yes, but only if the appropriate permits are obtained. The opossum also has opposable thumbs on its hind feet for holding onto branches. Some pets need a break from the shelter while waiting for a forever home. There are good chances that it is going to have a temper, biting and scratching your every time it gets angry or anxious. Eventually, you might find that living with wild animal is simply not for you. Lady finds and opossum on the porch and pets it. In many areas of the United States, keeping a captive raccoon as a pet is perfectly legal. Lady finds and opossum on the porch and pets it. The ARL can help you assess the situation and report it to the proper law enforcement agency. Their hairless tail is also prehensile, and may be used for support or balance while climbing. Opossums sometimes dangle from their tails alone, although this behavior is more common in juveniles. Possums, on the other hand, are native to Australia and include about 70 species. Surprisingly, opossums rarely, if ever, get rabies. Can you keep a possum as a pet? Iowa's natural resources plates include the state bird and flower, pheasant, eagle, buck and a Brook trout. On the bright side, opossums are very unlikely to carry rabies. Opossums live in all over the western hemisphere, and the name opossum can refer to animals from over 100 species. What you're seeing is normal defensive behavior. 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. Opossums are attracted by the smell of food but get stuck inside and can't climb out. Once they mature enough, the babies climb out of the pouch and onto their mother’s back. Can You Have a Pet Raccoon? Simply get authorization, and you can own whatever animal you ‘d like. If you have fruit trees or a vegetable garden, remove all fallen or ripened fruit and vegetables on a daily basis. 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. Opossums may wander into garages when doors are left open. If a dog has run him up a tree or onto a fence, he won't move until the threat is long gone. Opossum’s lifespan can vary in the wild and in captivity. Stay a good distance from the trap, and the opossum will leave once the coast is clear. Put a thick branch or board in the window well so the opossum can climb out. Contributions are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law, tax identification number 42-0680427. Information / Records Requests When opossums are scared, they hiss and open their mouth wide in fear, but they hold their ground. Research pet opossums to see if their personality, needs and care will work for you. Please do the unselfish thing and set these kids free. They are known to live for three years in th… 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). You can obtain permits from the Idaho Department of Agriculture to keep forbidden animals. 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. Thus, opossums can actually consume these snakes as prey. Can You Have an Opossum as a Pet? Opossums are very beneficial animals. The ARL offers dog and cat behavior counseling to help adoptive pet parents, as well as the general public, better understand our pets. Join Our Drop In Training Classes! They are gentle and non-aggressive animals who will not attack anyone. Opossum Care | Wilmette Pet Center. All you need to know about how to prepare for adoption and what to expect when you arrive. Opossums are opportunistic omnivores, and will eat a variety of foods including fruit, grass, nuts, worms, garbage, carrion, and unattended pet food. Thin dense vegetation. The animal is, also, going to display some wild behavior. If you are uncomfortable doing this, use a broom to gently tip the trash can over. The state calls it a wildlife breeder’s license. Based on where one resides, a volunteer may be needed with a wildlife rehabilitator to ensure your pet possum remains in good health. 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. arl@arl-iowa.org. 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. I know some people keep them as pets so I thought I'd check here. Their body temperature is too low for the rabies virus to thrive in, thus they are less prone to the disease. If you are uncomfortable doing this, use a broom to gently tip the trash can over. 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. Additionally, an importation permit must be obtained before any game animals may be brought into New Jersey from another state. Getting HandsyAs you may have seen from their tracks, opossums have rather hand-like back paws. If the baby opossums are less than 7 inches long (not including the tail), they are too young to be on their own. Watch for exiting footprints and close the door once the animal is gone. 5452 NE 22nd St., Des Moines, IA 50313 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. Forbidden animals include big cats, non-native canines, primates, hedgehogs, opossum, and wild boar. Possums have really hardy immune systems and are resistant to rabies. 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. Due to their appearance and size, the North American Opossum (also called Virginia Opossum) can seriously freak people out looking like an oversized rat. The muscular opposable thumbs on these feet help the animal climb and hang with ease. 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. If their body length is longer than 7 inches (not includ­ing tail), then they're big enough to survive on their own. They are not rodents! A post shared by Tito the Raccoon (@titotheraccoon) Yes! Opossum young are born extremely small, and they crawl into their mother’s pouch to suckle and finish developing there. Opossums are managed as furbearers in Maryland. Give Pets a Chance to Relax in your Home! Iowa DNR Customer Service Leave the door in place for at least three days. Wild animals make very poor pets. Contact Information by County. If the reaction is indeed involuntary, it may be similar to experiencing sleep paralysis. 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. It can carry numerous bacteria and illnesses, even if the animal is healthy. Oral and Foot Care Opossums have little problems with oral problems, and nails tend to stay short from the exercise. If you volunteer for awhile, and prove you are responsible, this could very well happen. They grow to be roughly the size of a domestic house cat and have long snouts and prehensile tails. 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). 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. Q. 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 … Support conservation in Iowa by buying a natural resource plate for your vehicle. They aren't fierce at all. Oregon Exotic Pet Laws. She may have as many as three litters in a single year, with the average being two. Here are some suggestions: Remove woodpiles and debris to eliminate opossum hiding places. View Map, Orphaned Animals Do you already have a vet lined up that is willing to treat your sloth? 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. Unfortunately, this bluff routine is often wrongly perceived to be rabies. An ancient family. If an opossum is hissing, drooling, swaying and/or opening his mouth really wide (so you can see his 50 teeth! 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. Brain activity, however, remains unaffected, and the opossum is fully conscious. Make sure the opossum is really stuck! Virginia possums run up about £500 each for babies, more for adults. To keep the opossum/possum legally, a wildlife rehabilitation permit is needed from the state. (515) 262-9503, Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Response. Squirrels 14th St. Make sure the opossum can drink from the bottle (training might be necessary) and check water bowls frequently so they stay clean. Keeping a Pet Opossum << Back to All Opossum Help & Education or Shop Opossum Products. 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. Opossums aren’t really meant to be indoor pets, anyway, so I would caution against supporting an industry that domesticates wild animals. This “free time” should be supervised because of the risk of predators. Submit Online Inquiry Call your local animal control agency. Opossums are opportunistic omnivores, and will eat a variety of foods including fruit, grass, nuts, worms, garbage, carrion, and unattended pet food. Skunks They actually have little ability to defend themselves. The opossum, or possum, is the only marsupial in North America. Their scientific name is Didelphimorphia. www.wildneighbors.com, 1615 SE. Perhaps this display is so effective because opossums have the highest number of teeth of any North American mammal. Opossums are normally seen at dawn and dusk, but can be seen anytime. Caring for a pet in your home is both fun and rewarding. The state agencies that regulate exotic pet ownership are the Department of Fish & Game and the Department of Natural Resources. Take a look at your yard to see if you can make changes that can create a less hospitable place for these animals. Breath. You will want to have a safe place for your pet ducks to play when they are not in the coop. This is normal behavior, not cause for alarm. Be sure to get a window-well cover (inexpensive from home-building stores) after the opossum is gone or this problem may occur again. 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. Take into consideration your lifestyle, habits, living arrangement and budget. To avoid inviting an opossum to your door, keep pet food dishes inside and close pet doors at night. You do not require permits to keep llamas, alpacas, chinchillas, guinea pigs, or minks. Tons of TeethA common territorial or threatened behavior for opossums is to hiss and bare their teeth. 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. f: 515-725-8201 Occasional dust baths, using chinchilla dust, or bathing using gentle pet shampoo can remove excess oils from their fur. 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. They are not looking to attack or bother anyone; they are actually very gentle and harmless creatures. 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. Still, their 50 little chompers may not be as nasty as they seem. First, remove access to food (for example, bird seed bags) and trash. Experience Iowa's natural beauty and all the fun our state parks offer. Short on Time? He won't come out and attack; he's too scared! In fact, they’re one of the most unique animals in Iowa, and they have ecological benefits in both natural and urban environments. They don't run fast or fight well, so their best defense is to try scaring off potential attackers. At this age, they ride on mom's back and can sometimes fall off without her noticing. Playing ‘Possum Should worst come to worst, the opossum is … 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. 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). Natural Resource Plates. p: 515-725-8200 Posted: (3 days ago) Opossums groom themselves and are quite clean. Opossums have exactly 50 teeth which is more than any other North American land mammal. 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. ARL Pet Helpline - We're Here for You and Your Pet. Woodchucks, The Animal Rescue League of Iowa (ARL) is Iowa's largest nonprofit animal shelter, caring for many thousands of pets each year. 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. 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. Learn More About Us, The Animal Rescue League of Iowa, Inc. is registered as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Mon - Fri, 8:00am - 4:30pm CST On average, eight or nine joeys survive to adulthood, eventually leaving their mother after three to four months. Make your online reservation for state park cabins, camping sites, shelters and lodges. Before you even consider any exotic animal, you need to ask the following questions. Rest assured, he won't jump up and attack! 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. ), he's just doing a bluff routine to scare you (or a dog) off! Des Moines, IA 50320 Oral and Foot Care It depends on where you live, in some places it is completely illegal, in others you just have to have a license. We offer a unique assortment of food, bedding, leashes, collars and gifts — and 100% of proceeds benefit the homeless pets at ARL. As such, their birthing and parenting strategies differ significantly from those of most mammals. 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. Can I have a pet raccoon, skunk or opossum in New Jersey? Opossums are shy, non-aggressive creatures who have the misfortune of scaring people due to their rather odd appearance. Playing ‘PossumShould worst come to worst, the opossum is prepared. If the opossum is truly stuck in a fence, contact your local animal services agency for help. They are not widely available so you'd either have to find a breeder or get in contact with a specialised pet shop. Our Pet Helpline is in place to assist pet owners who may be struggling with pet issues. 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. Opossums today are the descendants of one of the oldest families of mammals. Join us to advocate for improved animal welfare laws for the animals and people of Iowa. The North American Opossum is the only marsupial living in the north and parts of Center and South America. 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