Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Possum Update

We have not seen our furry little frenemy since Friday night, but I know he's lurking around, just waiting to sneak-attack the dogs when they go outside to do their business.  David or I watches from the backdoor when we let them out, and I've been letting Little Mac go out front after dark, even though David disapproves.  She won't run away, and I wouldn't want to pee out back with that possum.

The animal-loving, vegetarian-eating, everything with a face also has feelings person that I am does not want this possum to die.  But I would like it to be gently and humanely relocated.  To the next county or possibly over state lines.  (Also maybe spayed or neutered?  Because does the world really need more totally gross possums?  I'm willing to pay for this!)

So, with the hope for relocation in mind, I called the city animal control yesterday to speak with someone about our pesky little (read FIERCE AND POTENTIALLY RABID) possum.  I explained that a large and ferocious possum had gotten into a skirmish with my small but spunky dog.

The woman asked if the possum was outside.

"Yes.  Outside in my fenced-in backyard."

She informed me that animal control doesn't do anything about possums that live outside because "outside" is their "natural habitat."

How amazingly helpful!  OUTSIDE is actually the possum's NATURAL HABITAT.  Who knew?

Upon further reflection, I take this to mean that if possums were infesting my HOME (as Leslie's comment suggested actually happens to some people, who then get to be on TV) that animal control would step in.  Perhaps there are so many home infestations that animal control simply cannot be bothered with yard infestations?  Is this a serious problem in the city of St. Louis?  Possums taking over apartments?  (The thought of one being in my house makes me gag.)

But as long as he remains in the YARD and doesn't use his creepy nearly-opposable thumbs to open the backdoor and move in, then that's evidently NOT a problem.  Perhaps we can just adopt him and he can be like a third small dog who just lives outside all the time.  AND IS SUPER SCARY AND DISGUSTING.

I, very politely, pressed the issue just a bit further, and may have SLIGHTLY exaggerated things, when I said, "So, even if this possum is really fierce and, like, attacking small dogs who live here?  Animal control doesn't do anything about that?"

And then she told me that MY DOG probably STARTED IT.

As though my dog is some kind of possum bully!  Picking on the poor little possum in his "natural habitat"!

I wanted to speak up in Cooper's defense and explain that my loyal canine companion was defending his territory and his family from possum attack and infestation.  But then she cushioned her accusation by stating that it's a dog's "natural instinct."

I was learning ALL KINDS of new things about animal habitats and behavior.  The conversation was riveting.

Moral of the story:

If you want to learn about NATURAL HABITATS of possums and NATURAL INSTINCTS of dogs, please, call Animal Control.

If you actually want some assistance gently relocating and ENORMOUS and TERRIFYING and POTENTIALLY RABID RODENT with nearly opposable thumbs from your backyard, DON'T BOTHER.

image from  http://howtogetridofpossum.blogspot.com/   
A little Google searching has informed me that fox urine is the best repellent for possums, so I'm just going to GET RIGHT ON THAT.  Ebay?


  1. Ewwwwwwwwww!!!! That photo is awful!!!! I would FREAK OUT if I saw one of those things!!

  2. Get a live trap. It will catch the possum without harming it and then you can relocate it.

  3. http://www.wildlife-traps.com/possum.html

  4. OR, I could bring Koda over and leave him in your fenced yard for an hour. He'll take care of that possum. (And if you happen to have any moles, he's great at digging them out and erm "removing" them.) So it might not be gentle exactly, but neither is nature...ever seen lions on a hunt or something like that on Animal Planet? Koda is kinda like that, although a lot less fierce.

  5. That picture is pretty gross! (And if I've forgot to mention, Koda is our husky, he's a very good "hunter".)

  6. I don't know if this will help or not, but according to the Opossum Society of the United States (yes, it exists), possums are normally transient, and usually only hang out in an area for 2-3 days. I'm guessing that, after the run-in with Cooper, chances are good that yours is long-gone by now. I hope so anyway!

  7. Oh for shit's sake what if the damn thing attacked YOU and you got rabies!? Since it was OUTSIDE that would be ok? Idiots. If you see it again I'd call back and say it tried to attack you and that if the city doesn't come and remove it, it will be on their hands if you get rabies.

  8. On a serious note- almost forgot- the girl with the opossum infestation moved out not because of the possums but bec. of FLEAS! Apparently they carry fleas BIG TIME! AGH!!!!

  9. Is there seriously a blog dedicated to getting rid of possums!? Well I'll be. . .

  10. Possums are nasty bastards. We have some big badass ones around here. They would rip you a new one.
    Mating season is always interesting. The grunting, oh the grunting.
    I hope you get your possum problem sorted out soon!

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  12. Fox Urine??? I wonder if they sale that at Wal-Mart? ;)

  13. I say keep the possum and see if the city will relocate Little Mac. At least the possum doesn't shit in the house and hasn't bitten anyone.

  14. You can actually buy fox urine just about anywhere. My parents have possum problems, mostly because my little brother FEEDS them, so they hang around. He's weird.

  15. Yup you can get fox urine at Cabellas online. Very funny hope the critter doesn't both the dogs again!

  16. That is just all kinds of awesome...I say you set up a box and put some food under it proped up with a stick and some string. Trap it and than relocate it to the local animal control center...