FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) - A family will soon be forced to give up its pet squirrel. Sara Householder said the family has until next week to give up Rocky.
According to Householder, the family began taking care of the squirrel back in March. "My mother-in-law and her husband had a couple of trees get cut down," she said. "The guy started cutting one of the trees, and he cut into a nest of babies."
The accident killed the adult squirrel, but Rocky and another infant squirrel survived. However, the other infant died a short time later.
Householder said she didn't think Rocky would survive. She added that at first, she didn't even want him, but that changed.
"I raised him from an infant," a crying Householder said. "I fed him through a syringe every two hours."
The family can't keep the squirrel. Phil Bloom, the director of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Division of Communications, told WANE-TV that it's illegal to possess one without a permit.
"If someone feels the need to save that animal, which is usually not necessary, the proper and legal way to take care of that is to turn that animal over to a licenses wild animal rehabilitator within 24 hours," Bloom said.
Householder wanted to get a permit to keep the animal, but Bloom said people are required to get a permit first, before taking the animal.
Householder said someone from Animal Care and Control has been to her house, at the request of the DNR, to inspect Rocky and his living conditions. She said the person said everything was fine.
Householder and her family have a cage for the squirrel. They feed him fruits and vegetables, and the occasional snack. She said his favorite treat is Reese's pieces. Rocky also gets to run around the home, and despite the presence of other pets, the dogs and cat have not bothered their new companion.
Householder said she's required to hand Rocky over to a licensed animal rehabilitator next week. She plans to find a way to get Rocky back.
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