Don’t Let it Loose

Releasing a pet to the wild

is never the right thing

Why this is important

For the health of your pet, and the safety of our native wildlife, it’s never OK to release animals.

Can’t care for a pet?

If you can no longer care for a pet, there are resources to help you find a place for your pet.

More information

Additional resources to learn more about the importance of keeping exotic species out of the wild.

Why releasing a pet into the wild is never the right thing

Most pets released to the wild do not 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 manage to 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.

What to do if you can no longer care for a pet

It’s simple. If you have a pet you find you can no longer care for, you need to find it a new home – and never, ever, release your pet to the wild. If you are not able to place your pet with another caring owner, your best course is to contact an animal shelter, agency or even a pet store near you. The knowledgeable personnel in these places can help you find the right place for your pet. Use the resources on this website to locate the help you need!

Learn about Don’t Let It Loose in your area.

Click the state below to get specific information for that state

New Mexico











South Dakota

North Dakota



This project is supported by the US Fish & Wildlife Service.