What will it take for Louisiana to return Saffron the opossum? Humane Society steps in.

Beloved pet opossum seized from his owner during French Quarter Mardi Gras crackdown
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An opossum named Saffron has been impounded since being taken by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries agents in the French Quarter on Feb. 10, but more help is on the way to get him home. 

The owner William Voiles, who was known to cart the creature around in the basket of his adult tricycle, was in violation of Louisiana’s title 56 law that prohibits the possession of wild, four-legged creatures.

Voiles — who said he rescued the opossum as an infant from its mother that had been killed in traffic — hopes the LDFW will return his pet, if he can qualify for a permit to own and display the wild animal.

He’s worried that, considering his modest resources, he may not have the means to meet state standards. But, as of Monday, he has some important allies.

William Voiles small menagerie of animals rode remarkably calmly through the French Quarter in the front and rear baskets of his adult tricycle in this 2023 photo. Now Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries officers have confiscated Voiles pet opossum named Saffron

Jeff Dorson, executive director of the Humane Society of Louisiana, said that with the help of a generous donor who wishes to remain anonymous, the HSL is ready to provide whatever cages Voiles needs to satisfy the government that the animal is well sheltered.

Furthermore, Dorson said, Saffron will receive free veterinary care for life.

If that doesn’t do the trick, Dorson said, he has a plan B. Dorson said that if Voiles can’t have his pet back, maybe Saffron could be placed in the care of a licensed New Orleans wildlife rehabilitator, who would allow Voiles “visitation rights.”

Dorson said he has described his proposals to the LDFW in an email that he forwarded to a simpatico Louisiana State Representative. The official, he said, has agreed to add her endorsement before passing the letter on to the Wildlife Department, as early as Tuesday.

“We are doing our best to open channels of communication with a formal letter,” Dorson said.


The Bywater Bakery is displaying cake frosting design that advocates: ‘Bring Saffron home.’

Thus far, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has not publicly disclosed the location where the opossum is being kept, or the animal’s condition. Meanwhile almost 11,000 concerned citizens have signed a petition to return Saffron.

The state representative Dorson mentioned has not immediately returned request for comment. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries spokesperson declined to say if a letter from Dorson and a State representative has been received.

“Given that the case is still a pending legal matter, I am unable to answer any questions concerning it, due to the sensitivity of the case,” the spokesperson wrote.   


About Mary Weyand 11873 Articles
Mary founded Scoop Tour with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research. With ample knowledge about the Automobile industry, she also contributes her knowledge for the Automobile section of the website.

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