Don’t Let it Loose

Promoting Responsible Pet Ownership

Releasing a pet to the wild is never the right thing

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

If you can no longer care for a pet, these resources will help you find a place for it.

If you’d like to learn more about how pets can become invasive species, click on the additional resources below to learn more about the importance of keeping exotic species out of the wild.

Pet Store Resources


Answers to your most commonly asked questions about pets becoming invasive species.

Rehoming a Pet?

Click on your state to find help near you: 

New Mexico











South Dakota

North Dakota



Don’t Let it Loose™ News

Zebra mussels found in moss balls
Zebra mussels found in moss balls

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!