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Descented pet skunk loose in Michigan

A descented pet skunk named Pepé is on the loose in Napoleon, Michigan, according to a social media post.

A family’s pet skunk has been on the loose in Napoleon, MI, for four days, according to a Facebook post made by the skunk’s owner.

Beth Laretz posted in Michigan Lost And Found Pet Network that her family’s pet skunk, Pepé, escaped from her home on October 9.

“My daughter and her friend burned something in the oven and without thinking the friend propped the back door open to air the house out,” Laretz said in her post. She went on to say that Pepé is allowed to roam her home freely and the skunk was able to escape through the open door.

“He has had his scent glands removed so he is defenseless,” she said. “Unlike a cat or a dog, skunks lack a homing sense to find their way back.”

In the wild, skunks hole up in a den during the winter and enter into a deep sleep called torpor. It is unclear if a pet skunk with no scent glands to use as a defense mechanism would be able to survive a Michigan winter, where temperatures frequently drop to below 0°F.

Anyone who sees the missing skunk is urged to contact Laretz.

Skunks are native to Michigan and state law indicates they’re illegal to import into the state. It is also illegal to capture a skunk from the wild in Michigan. A permit from the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development is required to keep any native wildlife in captivity, according to the MDARD website.


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