Over the Mardi Gras weekend, "Saffron" the pet possum was confiscated from his owner by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in the French Quarter.

Now the pet owner has filed a petition in hopes of getting his beloved pet possum back.

Save Saffron The Possum
YouTube Via WGNO

Can You Have A Possum As A Pet In Louisiana?

In Louisiana, the laws and regulations regarding the ownership of wild or exotic animals as pets are strict.

No wild or exotic animals are allowed to be kept as pets.

However in certain situations, the Director of the Animal Control and Rescue Center may issue temporary permits for individuals keeping injured or infant wild animals.

So, what is considered to be a wild or exotic pet in Louisiana?

Nick Karvounis via Unsplash.com
Nick Karvounis via Unsplash.com

Taking a look at Louisiana's pet laws, things are clear as mud when it comes to what is legally considered to be a wild or exotic animal.

These laws can also slightly vary from Parish to Parish.

Let's take a look at what the law considers wild and exotic pets in Shreveport.

From lasc.libguides.com -

"Sec. 14-6. - Keeping of wild, exotic or vicious animals.

For the purpose of this section, the following shall be designated wild or exotic animals: tigers, lions, cougars, leopards, jaguars, cheetahs, lynx, bobcats, bears, wolves, chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans, poisonous snakes, komodo dragons, African buffalo, hyenas, coyotes, deer, any crocodilian including, but not limited to, alligators, crocodiles and gavials, any other species of nonhuman primates, raccoons, skunks, squirrels, foxes, ratite birds, hybrid species consisting of wolves, coyotes, or jackals interbred with domestic dogs and ocelots or margays interbred with domestic cats."

In some Parishes you can apply for permits in order to legally own some wild and exotic pets.

Mark Nolan/Getty Images

Save Saffron The Pet Possum

This past Mardi Gras weekend, New Orleans possum owner William Voiles had his pet possum "Saffron" confiscated by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in the French Quarter.

To say Voiles is devastated would be an understatement.

Wildlife & Fisheries agents confiscated Saffron because Voiles didn't have a legal permit to own the animals.

William Voiles tells WGNO -

“I miss him bad. I got him before his eyes opened, it is like having a newborn kid.

When I got him, I wasn’t trying to break the law. I was trying to save a life because his mother was just hit by a car and he was no bigger than my thumb."


New Orleans Pet Possum
YouTube Via WGNO

Voiles has started a petition at change.org in hopes to get his beloved pet possum Saffron back.

He tells WGNO "I want to get Saffron back so bad. We are hoping we can get enough signatures on the petition."

Currently the "Save Saffron the Opossum" petition has 1,534 signatures, slightly less than 1,000 signatures short of the new goal of 2,500.

If you want to sign the petition to hopefully reunite William Voiles with Saffron, you can sign the petition HERE.

WGNO reports that Wildlife and Fisheries agents also confiscated a few snakes from the French Quarter over the Mardi Gras weekend.

Read more at WGNO.com.

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