Don't Let it Loose! | Released Plants & Animals Campaign

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.

  • 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).

Alternatives to Releasing a Pet

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 (DLIL) Resources & Activites

  • 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:  

 Created by sanjana potnis, Northwest Acadamy

Created by sanjana potnis, Northwest Acadamy


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 ( at the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife (ODFW).