Opossum in My Overcoat: How I Saved Her That Night

Written byMary Cooper of Dallas, Texas

Ihave always loved animals and have rescued a few along the way. One night, I was driving home as I wentdown a dark, curved street and noticed an opossum in the middle of the road between the lanes. Its face was injured and there was a pool of blood below. The poor creature was so terrified, it stood absolutely still.

Aman in a truck was driving the opposite direction and slowed down as I called to him. He stopped and waited to warn me of oncoming carsas I darted over to the opossum, laid my Bill Blass overcoat on the ground and tried to coax the animal to walk onto the coat so I could then pick it up. The animal remained frozen, so Iwrappedthe coataround it, carefully picked it up and ran to the sidewalk. The opossum allowed me to carry it, but once we were across the street, it struggled to get down. I held onto it and put it in the open back of the man’s truck.

Iasked the nice man to follow me to my apartment complex, which was just around the corner. Without letting him see which apartment I lived in,I ran up to my place and got a cat carrier. I went back to the truck, and the man helped me put the opossum into the cage which I thenput in my car.

I Turned to the Opossum Woman

I went on my way and proceeded to call thecity of Dallasabout animal rescue, but they were unavailable. I called my mother who suggested I call the Highland Park police who are very resourceful. They were, indeed, as they gave me the name of a woman in Oak Cliff who is licensed to rehabilitate opossums. So I contacted Donna, “the opossum woman,” anddrove out to Oak Cliff at 10:30 p.m.

When I arrived, her husband and she rushed out, unscrewed the cage and picked up the opossum (putting their hands under the belly to avoid being bitten). They knew exactly what to do.

She Fully Recovered

It turns out the opossum was a female, so we called her Lucy. Weeks later, I called Donna and she said that Lucy was fine and that she had let her out on a green belt after her recovery.

I never thought I would impulsively risk my life, ruin my favorite designer coat andlet a strange man follow me to my apartment complex, but it was all worth it as it had apositive outcome. The funny thing is that, at the time, I didn’t even know what kind of animal I was rescuing. I thought it might be an opossum. Since then, I have learned a lot about opossums, which are marsupials that carry their babies in their pouches (from the kangaroo family, not the rat family). I now live in an area where opossums roam around my property at night and sometimes I leave a little food out for them.

Need More Good News to Make Your Day?

If you need a little break from all the bad news and dire forecasts we read each day, treat yourself to a few quick glimpses of joy that will lift your spirits now.We invite you in to take a look at some of the happiest animal rescue videos around.

Brought to you by The Great Animal Rescue Chase


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Photo Credit: Crystal Craig | Dreamstime.com


Nan Towle
Nan Towleabout a year ago

Blessings upon every rescuer, compassionate, brave and selfless, who go to great lengths to save another vulnerable, defenseless, intelligent, sentient beings from harm, injury, death. At some point(s) in our lives we all need(ed) someone to give us a chance and some help.
Great, inspiring story. We are all connected.

Nina S.
Nina S1 years ago


christina r.
christina r4 years ago

It was worth all the things you risked or lost during this ordeal. Now because of your love and respect animals Lucy is going to go on to have a life and have babies one day and her bloodline will continue. If you didn't do what you did, she would have died and scavengers would have eaten her. Thank you for your courage.

Suzan F.
Suzan F4 years ago

TG for people like Mary Cooper. I wonder how many people just drove by the poor possum & didn't even bother to try to help.

We have a possum who comes by our porch late at night for food. I always make a piece of toast for him, & add some cat food. He showed up one night with a big hole in his side, most likely from a dog attack. We took him in for a few nights, tended to his wounds, & he's OK now. Yes, they can bite, but they're usually more scared of you than you are of them.

Michele V.
Michele Vernet4 years ago

I too feed opposums who show up in my back yard, some pregnant moms! I have had to have one euthanized and remember her looking up at me when I put a small cotton rag in the box to keep her warm. She had been out all night, part of her little body maimed and bloody and I could tell that the poor thing was bad off. But too I could tell she was grateful she was not going to die forgotten and prey to other animals.

Karen Gee4 years ago

ty for sharing

Nickihermes Celine
Past Member 4 years ago

wonderful story,thank you for saving lucy 29/6

Mary T.
Mary T4 years ago

Thank you for rescuing Lucy

Ana Marija Rumbak
ANA MARIJA R4 years ago