HabitattitudeTM is a proactive campaign addressing the environmental, economic, and health impacts of releasing unwanted pets into the wild.

What does HabitattitudeTM mean?

The name comes from the issues the campaign seeks to address:

  • Habits: Ensure that pets are thoughtfully chosen and well-cared for
  • Habitats: Protect the natural environment from the impacts of unwanted pets; and
  • Attitudes: Help pet owners find alternatives to the release of their pets.

The Facts

Unfortunately, some pet owners release their animals into the natural environment for a number of reasons, including:

  • The owner’s lifestyle changes unexpectedly.
  • The pet becomes too expensive or difficult to maintain.
  • Children leave home or “outgrow their pets.”
  • Although the owner may believe releasing their companion animal to the wild is humane, abandoned pets often do not survive due to inadequate food or shelter, the conditions of the local climate, or they fall victim to other animals.
  • Some abandoned pets may become invasive: non-native species that cause harm to the environment, economies, and/or human health.
  • Invasive species are considered to be among the top environmental problems worldwide.
  • Invasive species cost the U.S. more than $100 billion per year, approximately $1,100 per year, per household.

Dive Deeper

Learn about invasive species and discover safe ways to enjoy pets and hobbies where the risk of environmental harm are highest.

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