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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    City Island, Bronx, NY
    Thanked: 18180


    to TheSquirrelBoard. So now you think you'd like a squirrel as a pet?

    I'm glad that you're the type of person that does your research before making a decision.

    The first thing to consider is that squirrels are considered wildlife. With this designation they are illegal to own in most states. In most states it is extremely difficult or even impossible to get vet care because of this. Most vets won't treat wildlife and those that do will usually only treat them for licensed rehabbers.

    Another thing to consider is that squirrels don't have a long history of domestication like cats and dogs. They are 'wild at heart'. Those of us that are regular members of this board have either experienced it OR have seen it frequently from other posters. Squirrels that are raised from babies or even pinkies will usually reach a point where they begin to wild up. Of course, there are exceptions. A 'wilding up' squirrel can become vicious. I can't even begin to tell you of the MANY cases of squirrels that have attacked their primary care giver or a family member. It's usually a family member. A common scenario is a squirrel that is very loving to its human 'mama' and a holy terror to the rest of the family. There have been attacks that ended at the ER.

    Another thing to consider is that squirrels make lousy pets. We preach this constantly because frankly... they are. Even the sweetest squirrel will bite the crap outta you if it moves them. They will chew your furniture and actually anything else in your home. They are extremely messy and they poop and pee anywhere and everywhere.

    As you learn about squirrels you will find that they can live up to 15 years or even longer. A realistic expectation would be at least 10-12 years. This differentiates them from rats that have a life expectancy of 2-4 years. Owning a squirrel is a very long term commitment especially if that squirrel has wilded up and hates your guts. It has happened.

    Here's the deal friend, we don't encourage people to own pet squirrels because of the issues I just mentioned. Members of TSB are committed to returning squirrels to their home which is the trees. Now, if you are 100% committed, there are squirrels that are considered non-releases due to disabilities that make their survival in nature impossible. Occasionally a home is sought for a non-release squirrel. Those squirrels don't go to just anyone. A squirrel like that would only be placed with a person that is knowledgable and has a track record of commitment to a disabled animal.

    This would be my recommendation. Stick with rats. They are very loving and make good pets. Squirrels don't. This was lesson 1 of your pursuit of knowledge about squirrel pets. . I encourage you to stick around and learn here. I would say that TSB is the largest resource on the planet regarding interaction of squirrels with people.

    Welcome again. We're happy you found us.

    Originally posted by HRTSQRLS -- thank you, Patti!
    Island Rehabber
    NY State Licensed
    Wildlife Rehabilitator

    "Ancora Imparo" (I am still learning)

    If you can't afford the vet,
    You can't afford a pet.

    "Better one day in the trees, than a lifetime in a cage."

    '...and the greatest of these, is Love. '

  2. 3 TSBers pass along the fuzzy thanks to island rehabber:

    BuckysMommy (10-21-2019), cava (12-02-2017), Jen413 (12-02-2017)

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