After losing their mom to a vehicle accident and a dog attack, the three newborn opossums were orphans.
Opossum rehabilitator Sheri Kassalias, who is also a dog rescuer, decided to foster the three of them – to bring them back to health, and look after them until they were old and independent enough to be let go back into their natural habitat.
Two of the little ones went along with this approach perfectly. They were happy to be nursed back to health – and even more pleased to be released. but the last one had other plans.
“Opie was so sweet he demanded to be held. He climbed up my sleeve,” Kassalias shared.
So cute, must share on both pages.. when you are loved by a possum ❤️❤️
Posted by Opie Kass on Monday, December 26, 2016
Opie actually started licking and grooming Sheri, a cat-like habit known as “slubbing.” Some other rehabilitator advised her that Opie was a “one in a million” opossum, because of his amiability and how attached he was to her.
The rescuer told her that she would either need to permanently eliminate all connections with Opie, in order to make him releasable – or simply agree to keeping him for good.
“So here we are almost two years later,” says Sheri.
Opie has become a member of the family, sharing a place in South Carolina with Kassalias and her spouse, and also a 14-year-old pit bull, a senior Boston terrier, a 25-year-old tortoise called Bubba as well as a foster pup.
Opie has an additional responsibility, apart from remaining a beloved friend.
He is registered with the USDA to ensure he can show up in public places. He goes with Sheri to educational facilities and other locations to help teach people regarding the marvels of his species: historical animals that are North America’s sole marsupials, opossums are not vulnerable to rabies and feed on a large number of ticks.
Kassalias loves to inform folks how opossums will eat the pests from your garden of yard without damaging a thing in exchange. They will not dig up your house, or get into your attic.
Opossums will remain on the ground and “appreciate an abandoned hole under a tree log, a spot in the back of the garage or an open area to your basement,” she shared. “I love that they give back to nature instead of taking from it. They are gentle even when injured.”
Posted by Opie Kass on Sunday, August 23, 2015
Opie also helps attract people to dog adoption activities by showing up as an exclusive guest.
Opie’s recent 2nd birthday celebration was a significant occasion.
He got an amazing cake for himself, prepared from bananas, carrots, and berries – and his special event was a fundraiser for The Opossum’s Pouch Rescue, and generated countless pounds of donated meals, and also blankets and other products, for the animals in need.
However, celebrating Opie’s 2nd birthday is as well bittersweet.
An opossum’s life expectancy is improbable to be a lot more than 2 years. Opie is displaying some indication of slowing down. He’s facing a bit of difficulty with his balance, and he’s lost some weight.
One evening, Opie sat in Sheri’s lap as she cried over the idea of losing this wonderful marsupial, whom she refers to as her “positive possum.” Opie has added so much happiness to her life, while doing a lot of good for others at the same time.
How to rock your baby to sleep….
Posted by Opie Kass on Sunday, December 18, 2016
“Regardless of how much time I have left with him, I know I have done absolutely everything in my power,” says Sheri. “If his longevity was based on love, he would live to be 100.”
Before You Go…
Please check out our friends at Best Friends Designs. Contribute to a great cause while getting a beautifully designed t-shirt. Every item sold on their website will count towards a monthly donation to help rescue efforts and shelter animals in need.
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