The Don’t Let it Loose! campaign is run in partnership between SSISC and the Invasive Species Council of BC (ISCBC). It educates current and prospective pet owners about the harmful effects of releasing exotic pets into BC’s wild ecosystems. When released into the wild, exotic aquatic plants, invertebrates, reptiles, fish, and amphibians can out-compete native species for food and space, damage ecosystems, disrupt food sources, reduce access for aquatic recreation, and introduce parasites and disease into wild populations. Releasing pets into the wild is inhumane to the pet, harmful to the environment, and illegal.
In addition, releasing pets into an unsuitable habitat is considered animal cruelty
and charges can be laid.
BC’s pet invasives include:
- Red Eared Slider Turtle
- American Bullfrog
- European Rabbit
- Brazilian Elodea
- Koi Carp
- Aquarium plants, such as Watermilfoil and Parrotfeather
Unsure what to do with your unwanted exotic pet?
- Contact the place where you purchased the animal to see if they will take it back.
- Contact local science centres, zoos or aquariums to see if they can use the animal for educational purposes.
- Dry and freeze unwanted aquatic plant material and add it to non-composted trash.
- Report sightings to us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone us at 604-698-8334. Report ALL sightings of invasive mussels to the B.C. Conservation Officer Service (RAPP): 1-877-952-7277
- If all else fails, have a qualified veterinarian euthanize the animal in a humane manner; it’s far kinder than letting it starve to death in the wild or destroy the homes of native animals and plants.