Who We Are
Opossum Awareness & Advocacy (OPAA) was a 501(c)(3) nonprofit based in Vermont. As of March 25, 2019 we are not a charity but we still seek to help opossums through Facebook posts and this website.
Our formation in May 2017 was motivated by the belief that opossums may well be one of the most underestimated and misunderstood mammals in North America.
It is not uncommon to hear people slurring opossums and treating them unkindly - calling them dirty rats and intentionally injuring them - when in fact, opossums are clean, industrious marsupials that with few exceptions help humans far more than they cause harm.
Since we began, more than 37 million people have seen our initial "Hello, my name is opossum!" Facebook post; it's been shared more than 689,000 times. We currently have 144,000+ Facebook followers and have received thousands of emails from USA and Canada, and some from as far away as South Africa and Brazil.
We started out with no funds, just an idea and the hope that people would be ready to listen. We've been blown away by people's reactions and how many are receptive to learn more about our opossum friends.
Even if only a quarter of the people who have seen our initial Facebook post tell one friend, we estimate that we have potentially saved thousands of opossums from needless death and cruelty.
Our primary mission is to spread awareness about opossums' many attributes, including the fact they kill ticks and mice that carry Lyme and other infectious diseases, and in doing so to improve the public's regard and treatment of this very undervalued marsupial.
Our secondary mission is to improve the treatment of opossums; whether this be through spreading awareness and information or supporting opossum rehabbers and rescuers who work legally in their states or provinces.
We also seek to support other other awareness and advocacy efforts that complement opossum welfare, including but not limited to, improving the awareness and treatment of all wildlife within the USA and Canada, and the awareness and amelioration of Lyme Disease.
What We Do Now
Advocating and spreading awareness for opossums and wildlife causes via our website and Facebook page.
We hope some day to be in the position to:
More effectively advocate on behalf of opossums and their animal cousins state-by-state (including influencing trapping and hunting laws, if possible) through education and advocacy;
Initiate and administer successful opossum rescue and relocation strategies that can be replicated from community-to-community. One in particular we would like to begin would help horse owners humanely trap opossums and transfer them to places they are welcome and can do no harm;
Create printed and online marketing materials for school children and community groups, as well as any other opossum-centric programs we initiate.