about 18 weeks ago, I found an abandoned pinkie following a storm. This forum was a wealth of info and is most certainly responsible for saving his life. Thank you to everyone who freely give of their time and expertise, you make a difference, and you make the world a better place.

The help I'm reaching out for today is how, knowing what I know now, let him go? It is illegal to keep a squirrel in Southwest Missouri, they acually have "squirrel season" for hunting them. I've been told by rehabbers that I can be fined for even rescuing him.

We were never going to keep him or had thoughts of domesticating him. But thru the feedings, tiny "hot tubs" to poop lol (which was only a few times before his eyes were open-but boy was I worried!), and "play sessions" in a safe room where he can run and stretch his legs for an hour a day, I'm afraid that I've become attached to the little guy. His homones seem to be kicking in as he's becomming possesive of me, grooming my hands, and becomming agitated when my husband enters the room where we play and run around. Then he started biting my husband...hard. I'm often away volunteering with disaster relief and it became clear that we were not going to be able to winter him as we had originally thought, as hubs wasn't comfortable handling him anymore, and I couldn't bear the thought of him being locked in his cage for a week whenever I left. (it is a big, double cage, but still).

We have found a rehabber 1.5 hrs away that has a very large property (woods) and experience with releasing older squirrels. She will attempt to see if he's ready as we're having such a warm winter. How do I reconcile the drastic difference in nr and wild squirrel life spans? He doesn't know how to be a squirrel, how to check the acorns, how to not sleep on the ground (no matter what I try, he builds nests on the floor of his cage!) I keep seeing him cold and alone in some tree and my heart breaks....wtf!!!? I'm usually much more pragmatic and NOT this emotional....so again I ask....WTF???!

This sucks!