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Woman Rescues Suffering Opossum

Written by Michelle Kretzer | July 10, 2012

A PETA staffer walking to the Los Angeles office one morning spotted an opossum sitting in the middle of the road, bleeding from her mouth. Several men were jabbing her with sticks.


Look closely: Even when injuries aren’t obvious, an animal may be suffering.

With the help of several coworkers, the staffer cleared everyone from the area. Then she gathered up the opossum and drove to the nearest animal shelter so that the injured animal could be assessed. Shelter staff determined that the opossum was a mother carrying a pouch full of babies and that her injuries were quite severe: Euthanasia was deemed the most merciful option for both the mother and her babies. The staffer’s speedy response saved this opossum family from being hit by another car, being further tormented by cruel people, or suffering and slowly dying from their injuries or from heatstroke, dehydration, or starvation.

If you spot an injured animal on the road, please don’t leave the animal to suffer. If you can safely collect the animal, transport him or her to the nearest animal shelter or vet’s office for assessment and/or euthanasia. If you don’t think that you can contain the animal, call the police or animal control, stress the urgency of the situation, and stay with the animal until help arrives. If all local options fail, please call PETA.

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  • Makayla says:

    I know this was like 6 months ago, but was it seriously necessary to kill the babies too? They could have been placed in wildlife care and “oh, they were going to die at some point in their lives, let’s just kill them now”, is an extremely illogical and weak argument. So sick of seeing every single rescue or “intervention” case by PETA ending in often unnecessary euthanasia. You are loaded, USE THIS MONEY TO EXPAND SHELTERS AND INCREASE YOUR HEALTH CARE BUDGET INSTEAD OF SPENDING IT ON SEXIST AND BODY-SHAMING ADVERTISEMENTS.

  • Murna says:

    I forgot to mention, to pick up an OPO put one hand under its belly and grasp the tail right next to its hindquarters. If it is snarly, put a small towel over its head. I have raised and released hundreds of Opossums ove the years and have bitten only once due to my own carelessness. They are not vicious, showing their teeth is a defensive stance.

  • murna says:

    My email explains why I am responding to this incident re: the Opossum.  I worked with Opossums for 10+ years, rehabbing the adults and raising the Joeys to be released back into the wild.  They are very sweet animals.  But in that 10 years our wildlife hospital saw a very sharp decline in the number of animals. We went from over 400 a year to just over 100 animals that were brought in.

    The decline, I am sure, is due to predation by humans who think they are stupid. The Virginia opossum has survived from the age of the dinosaurs to present day with very little change.

        Too bad there were no knowlegeable wildlife people around who may have been able to tube the babies and saved them.

  • cdental says:

    This broke my heart. That poor precious animal. I just wished that she and her little babies could have been saved. People are the cruelest animals!

  • Adele Ferrara says:

    The same exact thing happened to me a few months back. I found an opossum in the middle of the road just sitting still and not moving. When I approached I saw that it was bleeding from the nose and was stunned. I wrapped it in a towel and drove 40 minutes to the wildlife hospital. They said its injuries were too severe and he had to be put down. But I was not going to leave that poor animal in the middle of the road to be hit again or attacked by an animal.

  • Robyn says:

    If I ever saw disgusting filth abusing an animal, I wouldn’t give a second thought to giving them a good beating. Governments need to start cracking down on animal abuse and increase the consequences. In Canada, the maximum jail time you can receive for animal abuse is around two years.

  • Sarah McGee says:

    What a jewel of a person. Please Dear Goc, bless her life and give Mama Possum a better life.

  • Mimi says:

    Thank you to the lady and her co-workers for helping the mother opossum and her babies. At least she is not suffering any more. I started to cry reading this and I can’t help wonder what this opossum must must have been thinking while people were torturing her. Her motherly instinct trying to protect her babies willing to take the pain to protect them. People are so screwed up that their only entertainment is to beat a defensive animal to death not thinking about the pain they suffer. I love opossum’s I have rescued and set free babies who I am sure their mother was killed by humans. They are intelligent, social wonders of nature and they experience fear, sadness, depression and worse pain. The one I held was shaking so badly I could see it in her eyes wondering are you going to be mean to me to? After she grew and started to wild up my only thought to her was please be safe. I still see her once in a while, I know her face any where. To the individuals who were cruel, Karma is a witch, and I believe what goes around comes around we all get are come-up pins one way or another….I wish I could be the one to give it to you!

  • carla says:

    What a saint this woman is! what the hell is wrong with people???? I am so sick and tired of human who abuse animals. So very tired.

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