Don't adopt Missouri wild animals

Don’t Adopt Wild Animals

Arnolds Funeral Homes in Canton & Lewistown, Mo

Every year I get calls from people who have picked up, what they believe to be, abandoned baby animals.  This is never the right answer.  The best chance for the animal is to never take it home. In almost every case the animal is not truly abandoned.  Just because a mother is not around does not mean it has abandoned its young.  A lot of animals, such as deer, do not stay with their young.  They only come to their young to feed it.  By doing this, they do not attract any extra attention to the young and this helps keep it safe from predators.  

If you, your dog, or someone in your family does bring a young animal home, it is not too late.  The best thing to do is immediately take it back where you found it so the mother can come retrieve her young.  

You may think you are doing an animal a favor by taking it home but the fact is you have almost for certain harmed it. Animals that go through a human adoption and are later released in the wild do not possess the survival skills normally learned from their mothers. 

Another thing to remember is that it is illegal to possess wild animals without a permit.  Therefore, if you do pick up a small animal you cannot keep it.   Always remember a wild animal will not make a good pet. They will always remain wild, and no matter how long they have been gentle and nice, one day they will become aggressive or bite.   

          Even under the best of circumstances most animals born in the wild don’t survive to adulthood. Most fall victim to disease, predators, inclement weather, or just bad luck. That is why they produce many more young each year than are needed to perpetuate their species. Death is a necessary part of life in the wild.  When we pick up and try to adopt young animals you are not increasing the survival rate, but doing just the opposite. 

            This knowledge, along with an understanding of the dangers and problems involved, provide ample reason not to adopt wildlife.


Lewis County MDC Agent
Jason Vaughn Missouri Department of Conservation Agent for Lewis County Missouri

Jason Vaughn

“Jason Vaughn is the Missouri Department of Conservation Agent for Lewis County and a valued contributor at The Lewis County Scoop. His passionate insights into wildlife and conservation issues bring vital awareness and engagement to the residents of our community.”

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