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Well then...

Wallabies, kangaroos, Sugar Gliders, Possums, Quolls, etc.

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Well then...

Postby Luxe » Thu Aug 21, 2014 11:45 pm

I've discovered why there aren't ANY breeders in Kentucky, assuming the information given THIS time is correct(I say that because I was first told differently, and also I feel the man I spoke with may be biased).

Now, as I recall a few months back, I was told by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife, themselves, that the only ways you can legally own an Opossum in the state of Kentucky, is to one, first and foremost, obtain your Captive Wildlife permit by building an enclosure that meets the dimensions required(6x8x8 + 4 sq. ft. for each additional opossum[I stated earlier it was 4x4x8, I misread]). Then, after getting approval, acquire a trapper's permit and trap one between the timeline and hours given. The second way, ofcourse the Captive Wildlife permit first, approval, and then buying one from a licensed breeder. Now, this same man told me a dog kennel would probably be good enough, so long as the top protects from escape, protection from elements, predators, etc. So, I based all my questions for this time around that information, since I've been thinking about going into the breeding business, not only to spread awareness, but to share with people good pet quality opossums.

Now, I've discovered you're really hard pressed to find a kennel that's 8ft high. So I started searching for alternative solutions and found some people built dog runs out of wood posts and 2x4 wiring all around with a built in swing-gate that locks. I figured I could make it 8ft high, with support beams, cover the top as well, block off a portion for protection from elements(and leave one portion open if they want to maybe sit in the sun, though unlikely, or whatever reason they may have, though they'd probably stay indoors with me anyways). I figured if it can keep a big 40 - 60lbs dog in, it can certainly keep in an opossum so long as the top is also covered. They're not really known to burrow. They may scrape a little off the top for a bug near the surface, but if you find them in a burrow during colder months, there's a very very good chance it's been borrowed from another animal that's more suited to burrowing than they are.

Ok, well, I made up a list to check all my bases, figure out how all the processes went, what it involved, etc, make sure I was right on dimensions... well, he started off with completely busting everything I based my questions on to begin with.

I started with my first question about dimensions, and he completely disregarded my question to ask,"Where did you get this opossum?" As if to accuse me? I told him I didn't have one yet, I was looking to pass inspection and later trap one during the timeframe given, as I was looking to be a breeder. He said I wasn't allowed to do that. I informed him that that's not what I was told the last time I'd called a few months back. His only retort was that there were over 300 employees there and that you're not allowed to trap opossums for pets, breeders, etc. They're to be trapped to be killed and skinned.

I wasn't going to let that deter me, so I said that was fine, I'll just get a permit for transportation of one wild animal, with certification of a healthy vet check, after getting my captive wildlife permit and buy from some of the breeders I found nearby, like the one in OH(I say this because that is the process to purchase a Coatimundi from out of state, minus captive wildlife permit, or so I was told by the dept. of fish and wildlife). He said I can't do that, either, it has to be a breeder based in KY that has a permit to breed.

I did go ahead and ask my other questions just to humor myself, and he did say the 2x4 wiring idea and all that wouldn't work anyways, but at the end of all of I couldn't help but ask,"So, what you're telling me, if I'm understanding everything correctly, it is logically impossible to even own an opossum in the state of KY, let alone breed them?" He said that was correct, and I asked,"Why?" He told me it was because there are certain animals they don't want people to own in order to keep the spread of disease down. I told him that they aren't likely to contract rabies, if that's what he's talking about. It's possible, yes, but beyond rare that it happens, maybe if they were running a fever, but that's a very restricted time frame for the virus to take hold. I told him I do know that if they happen to possess cat fleas, in specific, not any other fleas but cat fleas, then they can carry Typhus, and that they are prominent carriers of a deadly equine disease, but logic would tell you to keep them away from horses. He simply said there were many other things, which is true, that would warrant them not wanting them to become a pet animal in the state.

I don't know, I think something's amiss here... I feel like he may of been biased based on his 'disease' comment and continuously shooting me down. As much as it sucks, 90% of people in this state only see our only native marsupial as a disease ridden vermin that must be exterminated. They don't see that they're a huge help to our environment, and they honestly don't hurt anything in any way. If you have any living in your attic, it's probably not them that made the entry way, it was probably another animal. They take what they can find, not make opportunities... and this is why I wanted to be state licensed, so I could go out in public with my babies and teach people otherwise, teach people that the last thing they want is a confrontation with you, and that they mean no harm, that they're a very important part of our ecosystem... and I personally know that nothing opens up someone's heart more than being able to interact with a tame animal in order for them to appreciate it, especially the young ones, the children of our future, and the future of animals. It's like, it seals the deal, to not only talk about it and educate them, but to actually have a tame one with you to show them. No, I don't want one solely for that purpose. I've always had a fascination with them and after bonding with Ozzy, I've discovered I'm even more head over heels for them than I was before...

I'll still be making my website for educational purposes, and will probably, admittedly, appreciate these strange critters in the privacy of my own home. Any pictures, research, and videos will be entirely anonymous. I never use my real name anyways.

I do know one thing. Next time I call, I'm asking for it in writing. I don't care what they have to say, I want it in writing, because I'm not letting my aspirations be crushed by a 'he said she said' kind of deal. I'm currently having some personal issues at the moment, so it'll probably be a week or so before I come back with the information, but I'll be getting a definitive answer on this.

I just figured I'd share, and if they can provide in writing where it says that, one, I CAN NOT trap for pet/breeding/ etc purposes, and two, I CAN NOT transport out of state, even with certificate of a veterinary inspection that comes back totally healthy and the permit to transport one wild animal(or whatever amount with inspections for each), then you'll have your answer on why there are no KY breeders and why there probably never will be any.
"You are forever responsible for what you have tamed."
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Re: Well then...

Postby TamanduaGirl » Fri Aug 22, 2014 12:57 am

Do not say you want it for a pet. Since you want it for education you can say that if they ask why you want it. That sometimes helps. Get it in writing but also ask them to show you the laws that prove what they are saying or at least tell you which sections to look at.
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Re: Well then...

Postby Luxe » Fri Aug 22, 2014 6:10 am

I have a friend that runs ones of KY's Raptor rescues, and ends up with the occasional patient that can't be released because of a handicap, condition, etc, which would warrant permanent captivity. She's had to go through stacks of paperwork for each one and schedule educational events every so often. Based on this, it seems KY classes educators differently and places more red tape over them. I believe the animal must also have a health concern that warrants life permanently in captivity, which would not be productive to my study on diet. I need a healthy opossum to test that one, preferably a baby raised on a strict diet.

I work a job where I'm pretty much on call 24/7. It would not work out well if that's how they are with educators. I planned it to be a go out in public, when I can, in pet friendly locations, and educate those that approach, which curiosity gets the best of people, usually. Plus there is no funding. KY doesn't choose to fund educators, rehabs, or rescues, the people that care enough to care for their property, as they see them, so leaving my job would not be wise.

Based on this I don't think my methods and ways of going about things would go with protocol.
"You are forever responsible for what you have tamed."
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Re: Well then...

Postby TamanduaGirl » Fri Aug 22, 2014 3:11 pm

Raptors and almost all wild birds are regulated federally. It is very harsh for them. The feds are serious about not letting people keep birds from the wild. You can kill a crow but keep one as a pet and all hell will rain down on you. You're friends is under federal law with those.

Opossums aren't birds and they aren't endangered so the feds don't care. I don't know KY's laws on exhibiting mammals but most states will just deffer to you getting the USDA for exhibiting which is easy. Any decent owner should be able to pass USDA, hich is the only way the feds are involved with mammals.
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Re: Well then...

Postby Luxe » Fri Aug 22, 2014 10:42 pm

TamanduaGirl wrote:Raptors and almost all wild birds are regulated federally. It is very harsh for them. The feds are serious about not letting people keep birds from the wild. You can kill a crow but keep one as a pet and all hell will rain down on you. You're friends is under federal law with those.

Opossums aren't birds and they aren't endangered so the feds don't care. I don't know KY's laws on exhibiting mammals but most states will just deffer to you getting the USDA for exhibiting which is easy. Any decent owner should be able to pass USDA, hich is the only way the feds are involved with mammals.


Ahhh, ok then, I'll have to bring that up with them and see what regulations and requirements must be met, assuming they're different from the permit.
"You are forever responsible for what you have tamed."

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