Don't Let it Loose!

Never release pets, animals or plants into the wild (places such as rivers, streams, lakes or storm sewers, etc.). Releasing animals and plants can have unintended, yet very serious consequences when animals or plants reproduce and become invasive. Invasive species threaten Oregon’s economy and environment including impacts to agriculture, recreation, tourism, infrastructure, human health, and natural ecosystems. 

There are alternatives and resources available rather than releasing animals and plants into the wild.

Alternatives to Releasing a Pet:

  • Take your pet to a shelter, sanctuary, humane society, animal refuge and see if they will take it.
  • See if a friend or someone else would be willing to adopt your pet.
  • Use an adoption pledge form where students volunteer to take home the pet, with the understanding of invasive species, promising to not release it into the wild.
  • Contact the place where you purchased the animal to see if they will take it back.
  • Contact local science centers, zoos or aquariums to see if they can use the animal for educational purposes.
  • Dry and freeze unwanted aquatic plant material and add it to non-composted trash.
  • Have a qualified veterinarian euthanize the animal in a humane manner (last resort).

Actions individuals can take to prevent invasive species:

  • Don't lose your pet!
  • Educate friends, family, students, teachers, etc.
    • Teachers can lead lessons on invasive species and the alternatives to releasing pets into the wild.
      • (See *resources at the bottom of page for more information).
    • Teachers may offer an adoption form/pledge where students can volunteer to take home the invasive pet as long as they don't release it into the wild.
  • Get involved by volunteering!
  • Don't let your pet loose!
  • Report sightings of invasive species to 1-866-INVADER.

Don't Let It Loose | High School Media Contest

OISC's first high school media contest was held in 2015. Participants were asked to create a poster for the Don't Let It Loose campaign. The following posters were some of the many creative and educational entries submitted by students!

Don't Let it Loose (DLIL) Resources and Activities:

Additional Don't Let It Loose Resources for Teachers: