Stop Dumping Your Domesticated Pets Into the Wilds of Connecticut
When I hear the term invasive species, I think of exotic plants and animals like a Venus flytrap, or the scourge of all waterways - the dreaded Zebra Mussel. But, there are cute invasive species too. Some species of rabbits, goldfish, reptiles and amphibians are considered invasive too, and they've all recently been found in the wild here in CT.
I saw a post from Connecticut Fish and Wildlife over the weekend, it contained a photo of three goldfish that were recently captured in Wolcott's Mad River after someone had released them. The CT DEEP (Department of Energy and Environmental Protection) also reported that they were able to catch an individual who had released two common carp into Valley Falls Pond in Vernon.
Invasive species can be a scourge on our local ecosystem. Some non-native species can outgrow and outcompete native species, displacing them. That's where we and the CT DEEP need to step in.
I also saw a post in a local Danbury Facebook Group I belong to, from fellow member Adriana H, in which Adriana reiterated that dumping or releasing domesticated rabbits into the wild is illegal, and more importantly, cruel. Adriana states in her post that she and other fellow rabbit foster families around CT are beyond full from people illegally dumping their rabbits into the wild.
Adriana, as well as CT DEEP posted their public messages with the hope that you'll think hard, and won't release your pet into the wild. There are many resources available to you here in CT - Shelters, foster families, local animal control, and adopters - that will take your domesticated dogs, cats, snakes, rabbits, guinea pigs, and turtles out of harm's way.
Please stop and think before you release your domesticated pet into the wild. If you think that you're doing your pet a favor, and letting them be "free", you're not. Instead of releasing your alligator into the Connecticut River, like someone recently did in the Springfield, Massachusetts area, reach out to the Connecticut DEEP, your local municipal animal control, or do a quick search for animal shelters or wildlife rehabbers in your area.