Don't Let it Loose!

THINK TWICE BEFORE YOU BUY A PET -- AND NEVER RELEASE THEM INTO THE WILD

Species sold by local and online pet stores are not native to Oregon so it is important that you do not release these plants and animals into the environment. Many can survive and reproduce, becoming invasive quickly and displacing our native fish, wildlife, and plant species. If you have a pet that you no longer can care for, contact your local pet store, veterinary clinic or licensed wildlife rehabilitation facility, or contact the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife at (503) 947-6301 or odfw.info@state.or.us. You can also visit the Don’t Let it Loose website to learn more.

 THE OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FISH & WILDLIFE’S (ODFW) INVASIVE SPECIES COORDINATOR, RICK BOATNER, HOLDS UP A BABY RED-EARED SLIDER ON THE RIGHT, AND A FULL-GROWN ADULT ON THE LEFT, TO ILLUSTRATE JUST HOW BIG THESE CUTE and once little TURTLES CAN GET. NOT TO MENTION THE FACT THEY CAN LIVE UP TO 50 YEARS IN CAPTIVITY. PHOTO FROM ODFW.

THE OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FISH & WILDLIFE’S (ODFW) INVASIVE SPECIES COORDINATOR, RICK BOATNER, HOLDS UP A BABY RED-EARED SLIDER ON THE RIGHT, AND A FULL-GROWN ADULT ON THE LEFT, TO ILLUSTRATE JUST HOW BIG THESE CUTE and once little TURTLES CAN GET. NOT TO MENTION THE FACT THEY CAN LIVE UP TO 50 YEARS IN CAPTIVITY. PHOTO FROM ODFW.

 
 
                                                       Click to view/download this poster

                                                      Click to view/download this poster

 THE “RED-EARED SLIDER” IS A COMMON PET TURTLE NATIVE TO THE EASTERN U.S. THAT HAS DEVASTATING EFFECTS TO OUR NATIVE TURTLE POPULATIONS.  It has a dark shell, yellow stripes on the neck and legs, and a bright red patch just behind the eye. ADOBE STOCK PHOTO.

THE “RED-EARED SLIDER” IS A COMMON PET TURTLE NATIVE TO THE EASTERN U.S. THAT HAS DEVASTATING EFFECTS TO OUR NATIVE TURTLE POPULATIONS.  It has a dark shell, yellow stripes on the neck and legs, and a bright red patch just behind the eye. ADOBE STOCK PHOTO.


There are Alternatives to 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.
  • Get involved by volunteering!
  • Don't let your pet loose!
  • Report sightings of invasive species to 1-866-INVADER.

Don't Let it Loose Resources

Don't Let it Loose (DLIL) Resources & Activities

  • DLIL Poster
  • DLIL Brochure
  • DLIL Bookmark
  • DLIL Fact Sheet
  • DLIL Crossword
  • DLIL Double Puzzle
  • "Exotic" Pet Word Search
  • DLIL Bullfrog Maze Craze
  • DLIL Responsible Pet Owner Rack Card
  • Intruders Among Us! | Nonnative Aquatic Species in the Columbia River Basin Brochure
  • The National Invasive Species Council | Training and Implementation Guide for Pathway Definition, Risk Analysis and Risk Prioritization
  • Aquatic Nuisance Species (AIS) Task Force | Voluntary Guidelines to Prevent the Introduction and Spread of AIS: Recreational Activities 
  • DLIL Idaho 

Additional Don't Let it Loose (DLIL) Resources for Teachers


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!

Watch the video for the winner of the multimedia at the Watershed and Invasive Species Education Program Facebook page by clicking the picture below:  

 WATCH THE VIDEO FOR THE WINNER OF THE MULTIMEDIA AT THE WATERSHED AND INVASIVE SPECIES EDUCATION PROGRAM FACEBOOK PAGE BY CLICKING THE PICTURE ABOVE. CREATED BY SANJANA POTNIS, NORTHWEST ACADEMY

WATCH THE VIDEO FOR THE WINNER OF THE MULTIMEDIA AT THE WATERSHED AND INVASIVE SPECIES EDUCATION PROGRAM FACEBOOK PAGE BY CLICKING THE PICTURE ABOVE. CREATED BY SANJANA POTNIS, NORTHWEST ACADEMY

 

Check out some of the many posters that were created for the contest: 

Adapted student posters PDFs linked in pictures below: 

 Adapted from High School Posters by Sea Grant intern Anisha McCloud

Adapted from High School Posters by Sea Grant intern Anisha McCloud

 Adapted from High School Posters by Sea Grant intern Anisha McCloud

Adapted from High School Posters by Sea Grant intern Anisha McCloud

 

For more information on the Don't Let it Loose campaign, please contact Rick Boatner (rick.j.boatner@state.or.us) at the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife (ODFW).