States Where You Can Own a Raccoon

States Where You Can Own a Raccoon

Raccoons are fascinating creatures that have captured the curiosity and interest of many people. Their mischievous nature, dexterous paws, and distinctive mask-like facial markings make them a popular choice for those seeking a unique and exotic pet. However, owning a raccoon is not legal in all states, as they are considered wild animals and their ownership is regulated to ensure their well-being and the safety of humans. In this article, we will explore the states where you can legally own a raccoon and provide answers to some frequently asked questions regarding their ownership.

States Where Raccoon Ownership is Legal:

1. Arkansas: In Arkansas, raccoon ownership is permissible provided you obtain a valid possession permit. This permit ensures that you have the necessary knowledge and facilities to adequately care for a raccoon.

2. Delaware: Delaware allows raccoon ownership with a state permit. However, it’s important to note that obtaining this permit can be a lengthy process, as it requires meeting specific requirements and passing an inspection.

3. Florida: Florida allows raccoon ownership with a Class III permit. This permit is issued to individuals who meet certain criteria, such as demonstrating experience in handling and caring for raccoons.

4. Indiana: In Indiana, raccoon ownership is legal with a valid permit issued by the Department of Natural Resources. However, be sure to check local county ordinances as additional restrictions may apply.

5. Minnesota: Minnesota allows raccoon ownership with a state permit. Prior to obtaining the permit, you must satisfy certain criteria, including providing proof of experience and having appropriate caging facilities.

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6. Nebraska: Nebraska permits raccoon ownership with a state permit, but it’s important to comply with specific regulations regarding housing, welfare, and veterinary care.

7. North Carolina: Raccoon ownership is legal in North Carolina with a state-issued permit. This permit requires demonstrating experience in handling and providing proper care for raccoons.

8. Ohio: Ohio allows raccoon ownership if you obtain a wildlife shelter permit from the Ohio Division of Wildlife. This permit not only covers raccoons but also other wildlife species.

9. Oklahoma: In Oklahoma, raccoon ownership is legal with a state-issued permit. The permit requires meeting specific criteria related to knowledge, experience, and facilities for raccoon care.

10. South Dakota: South Dakota permits raccoon ownership with a state-issued permit. It is important to note that raccoons may not be released into the wild once they have been in captivity.


Q: Are raccoons good pets?
A: While raccoons are intelligent and charismatic animals, they may not make suitable pets for everyone. They have complex needs, require a significant amount of space, and can be challenging to care for due to their curious and mischievous nature.

Q: How much does it cost to own a raccoon?
A: The cost of owning a raccoon can vary greatly. Initial expenses may include acquiring a permit, constructing an appropriate enclosure, and providing the necessary veterinary care. Additionally, ongoing costs include feeding, enrichment, and regular veterinary check-ups.

Q: Are there any risks associated with owning a raccoon?
A: Yes, owning a raccoon comes with inherent risks. They are wild animals with natural instincts, and even if raised in captivity, they may display unpredictable behavior. Additionally, raccoons can carry diseases such as rabies, which poses a risk to both humans and other animals.

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Q: Can I release my pet raccoon into the wild?
A: It is generally not recommended or legal to release a pet raccoon into the wild. Raccoons that have been in captivity may lack the necessary skills to survive, and their release could potentially harm local wildlife populations.

Q: How long do raccoons live in captivity?
A: In captivity, raccoons can live up to 20 years, which is significantly longer than their average lifespan in the wild.

In conclusion, owning a raccoon can be an exciting and rewarding experience for those who are willing to put in the necessary effort and resources to provide for their unique needs. However, it is crucial to research and understand the regulations and requirements of your state before considering raccoon ownership. Always prioritize the well-being and welfare of these fascinating creatures.