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Responsible Pet Ownership

If you have a pet or aquarium plant you cannot keep, don’t let it loose. Releasing is never the right thing to do for your pet or for our native species.

Responsible Pet Ownership

If you have a pet or aquarium plant you cannot keep, don’t let it loose. Releasing is never the right thing to do for your pet or for our native species.

biOrb Americas is proud to partner with:

What's the problem?

If released, your pet or aquarium plant may become an invasive species that causes harm to the environment and economy. Most pets don't survive and many suffer before they die. Pets are usually unable to find food or shelter in the wild and they are often an easy meal for another creature. If it does survive, your pet becomes an invasive species that native wildlife may not have the defenses to compete against. Invasive species cause harm to the environment and the economy.

Don’t Let it Loose FAQs

What does it mean to be an invasive species?

There are legal and scientific definitions to destribe invasive species, but the key ideas here are that non-native species (plants, animals, or microscopic creatures) get introduced to. anew area or habitat, become established (aka happy and healthy), and cause harm to either the habitat, to other creatures, or to human health.

Can pets really be invasive species?

Some pets when released into the wild can become invasive species. So, if the conditions are right, pets like goldfish, some reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates like snails or crayfish can become invasive species. If someone is dumping an aquarium, then everything in the aquarium goes. It’s not just the fish, but the snails, water plants, and anything else in the tank. All this stuff has the potential to become an invasive species.

How do invasive species harm habitat?

An invasive species does things like burrow into banks of a river causing them to collapse, or growing so thick that no other species can live there, or changing the water chemistry so that it is inhospitable for native species.

What does it mean for an invasive species to harm native species?

When an invasive species takes available food, prime hativat, or literally eats anything it can get in its mouth, these vital changes can affect native species survival.

In cold climates, can a released pet actually become an invasive species?

The short answer is yes. There are definitely conditions that make it hard for tropical plants and animals to survive freezing temperatures and snow, but Don’t Let it Loose is about helping pet owners make responsible choices. Regardless of where you live, releasing a pet is not. a humane or responsible choice.

How can I find out what species are considered invasive?

Many states have identified different species that are of concern and have restricted their sale, possession, and sometimes transport. Check with your state wildlife or agriculture agency to find out what species are regulated and how they are being regulated. Chances are many of these species are listed because of their potential to harm.

What should I do instead of releasing my pet?

• Contact your local pet store
• Check with your local pet shelter or humane society
• Give or trade with another aquarist, herpetologist, pond owner or water gardener
• Donate to a nursing home, daycare or school
• Contact a veterinarian or pet retailer for humane disposal guidance

How can I dispose of aquarium plants and water?

• Seal aquatic plants in plastic bag and put in trash
• Pour water on lawn or house plants
• Never dump water down storm drains

Rehoming a Pet

If you’re looking for rehoming advice for your pet, Don’t Let It Loose™ is ready to help. Find pet rehoming resources in your state, both statewide and by city.

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