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Pet Raccoon Legal States

Pet Raccoon Legal States

Pet Raccoon Law By State

Raccoon enthusiasts around the United States face vastly different legal landscapes when it comes to raccoon pet ownership. In some parts of the country, it's perfectly legal to have a pet raccoon, while in others, it is strictly prohibited. The intricacies of raccoon law embody a unique intersection of public safety, animal welfare, and personal liberties. Understanding this unusual legal climate is crucial for any prospective raccoon caregiver.

  • Only 16 states legally permit keeping a raccoon as a pet: Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Nebraska, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
  • Most states hold prohibitions against keeping raccoons as pets. The reasons for these laws are manifold, including concerns about public health, potential damage from the wild nature of raccoons, and the inherent difficulty in providing appropriate care for an animal evolved for a life in the wild.
  • For states where raccoon ownership is legal, there are numerous conditions and regulations. These may include specific permit requirements, captivity-born conditions, and capturing methods. Arkansas and Vermont stand out as the only two states where a permit is not required to own a pet raccoon.

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