She Rescued An Orphaned Opossum, Now It Refuses To Leave

When Shari Kassalias learned that three orphaned opossums needed a foster mommy, she stepped in. Shari is a dog rescuer and also specializes in rehabilitating orphaned opossums. After taking care of them and preparing them for the life in the wild at the right age, Shari carries on and fosters other tiny animals in need.

But what started as nursing back to health three opossums, ended in having one of them as a house pet. She couldn’t believe what the baby opossum did to make her understand that he wasn’t planning to leave her side! Let’s get to know Opie…

20. Nursing Baby Opossums

Three baby opossums lost their mothers – two of them lost their mothers in a car accident and one lost her after a dog attacked her. Sheri took all of the three baby opossums to nurse them and care for them…

19. Getting Ready For The Wild

Sheri usually nursed all wildlife and when they were ready to fend for themselves, they would be released back into the wild. She also took care to minimize human interaction. But one baby opossum wouldn’t let go!

18. Two Babies Gone

Two of the opossums were happy to be back in the wild, but the third had a different agenda. Little did Sheri know that she would end up having an opossum as a pet! Here is what she said in an interview…

17. He Was so Sweet!

The opossum made it clear he wasn’t going away. So, Sheri said ‘Opie was so sweet he demanded to be held. He climbed up my sleeve.’ Then, he started grooming and licking his new mommy! He was so cute!

16. Making a Choice

Sheri named the funny opossum: Opie. He adored her and wouldn’t let go of her. He showed his affection and that’s when Sheri had to make a decision. She had to cut off all contact with Opie or let him decide…

15. Not Going Anywhere!

So, when Opie was shown the forest, he had no plans of going back. Instead, he chose to stay with his new mommy. Sheri let Opie have his way and they all continued living together. The woman has other pets too…

14. South Carolina Heaven

Sheri and her family live in South Carolina and they have an old Boston terrier, a senior pit bull, a 25-year-old tortoise and a foster dog! As you can see, he has a lot of friends to annoy from time to time. And that’s not all!

13. A Happy Life

Opie has even visited Santa and he spends most of his day on Sheri’s shoulder. He even has a job! He is registered with the USDA to appear in public places, as he is the ambassador of his species. He visits people and children…

12. Learning About Opossums

The only marsupial in North America is the opossum and they are a great animal everyone would want around their backyard, even if they’re wild. Sheri explains this to people in her meetings. This is what opossums do.

11. Cleaning The Backyard

Keep pests away from your backyard by having an opossum that visits and eats them! They need a little home, like an ‘abandoned hole under a tree log, a spot in the back of the garage or an open area to your basement,’ said Sheri.

10. Gentle Creatures

‘I love that they give back to nature instead of taking from it. They are gentle even when injured,’ explained Sheri. On his own Facebook page, Opie is very famous. Sheri said that ‘He is an amazing ambassador.’ You won’t believe what Opie did on his birtday…

9. A Great Party

Opie turned two years old and his mommy made him a yummy cake to celebrate. This birthday party was special. The event was also a fund-raising for ‘The Opossum’s Pouch Rescue’ organization.

8. Favorite Fruits

Opie had a great cake with blueberries, bananas and carrots. His birthday was also a day to gather food, blankets and pet supplies for the rescue center. But his birthday was also a bittersweet moment…

7. Opie Was Old

Unfortunately, an opossum won’t live more than two years, so Opie was already old. He showed some signs of age by moving slower, having problems with his balance and losing a bit of weight.

6. We Did What We Could

Sheri knew it from the start and she was prepared: ‘Regardless of how much time I have left with him, I know I have done absolutely everything in my power.’ Her next words brought tears to our eyes…

5. One Hundred Years Old

‘If his longevity was based on love, he would live to be 100,’ said Sheri. But, time passed and Opie’s heart was weaker and weaker. He passed away last year in July and Sheri’s heart was in pieces…

4. Reaching Out

Many people who have met her and Opie reached out to thank her for her devotion and the care she took of so many amazing animals like Opie. Sheri’s response brought tears to everyone’s eyes…

3. Thank You All

‘I can’t thank you all for your heartfelt messages, I wish I had the strength to reply individually but my eyes ache from crying’, said Sheri on Opie’s Facebook page. She carried on, thanking everyone for their kind words.

2. Beautiful Words

‘Please know you all mean the world to me at such a devastating time & your beautiful words help ease this broken heart,’ concluded Sheri in her message. It really is gutwrenching to know that a life is slowly going away…

1. Dear Opie…

Although he only lived for two years, he touched everyone’s hearts and his job as an animal ambassador was a success, raising awareness that all lives matter. Sheri continues taking care of orphaned opossums and dogs in need of a foster mommy, a house, and love!

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    Jessica Aguero

    Jessica Aguero is a content marketing professional at, a lifestyle and pop culture community that helps people stay in touch with trends. Previously, Jessica wrote content for several magazines and websites. She graduated with honors from Columbia University with a dual degree in Business Administration and Creative Writing.

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