Adopt a Raccoon? Things to Consider

Adopt a Raccoon Adopt a Raccoon? Read This First. The common domestic pets we are accustomed to seeing in a person’s house are typically dogs, cats, small breed reptiles, maybe a few hamsters here and there, or some goldfish. On the other hand, there are people in this world who like to step outside of the box by adopting an exotic pet in place of the stereotypical four-legged furry friend. This choice and alternative to pet ownership is perfectly fine, depending on the state you live in.

Adopt a Raccoon – Why?

If this is something you have in mind, you will first need to learn the specific laws and regulations surrounding exotic pet ownership in your particular state of interest. Before you or a loved one decide to adopt a pet raccoon or kit, be sure to educate yourself on all the legal boundaries concerning raccoons and pet possession.

Is It Illegal to Keep a Pet Raccoon?

For many states, the short answer to the question, “Is it illegal to own a pet raccoon?” is “no.” However, in these states where exotic pet ownership of raccoons is permitted, there are usually several prerequisites and requirements that one must meet in order to adopt a raccoon. Common rules include obtaining specific documentation and licensing, such as a legal permit and state approval, as well as, pay annual fees. Also, a state’s wildlife possession laws vary depending on the intended use of the animal.

The state wants to know if a person intends to use the animal for commercial use or non-commercial use. This means, “Are you going to sell the raccoon, breed the raccoon and sell the kits, or keep it as a pet?” Different permits are required and assigned for the different intended uses of a raccoon. And these uses must be revealed and verified before permits are approved.

In Many States, But Not all…

If a person’s intentions are merely non-commercial, they will need a Furbearing Mammal Breeder/Possession Permit. There are two classes for this permit: Class A, and Class B. For those who wish to keep protected wildlife for non-commercial use, they will need a Class A permit. For those who intend to use protected animals for commercial purposes, they will need a Class B permit.

The fee for a Class A permit is only $10, and then $25 annually. Again, it is only intended for those who keep a raccoon solely as a pet. Class B permits are $20 and $25 annually. Class B allows a person to breed and sell protected wildlife. Keep in mind these are just averages, and fees vary from county to county and among individual states.

Another stipulation to Furbearing Mammal Possession Laws is that a person must purchase or obtain a pet raccoon from a licensed breeder only. They must file and receive their legal permit before purchasing or adopting a pet raccoon. People are not allowed to catch, trap, or take a wild raccoon from nature and keep it as a pet.

They will not be approved for any exotic animal possession permits. It is strictly forbidden. A person must adopt a raccoon from a licensed raccoon breeder; and they must file and receive a legal permit before doing so. If these rules are not followed, then the law is being broken.

Should I Adopt a Raccoon?

A baby raccoon, or kit, is still a wild animal, with emphasis on “wild”. They are not meant to be domesticated like cats and dogs. It took thousands of years to achieve the healthy domestication of household pets that we commonly see today. With this said, there are still ways to domesticate a raccoon if you really want to, but it is strongly advised to consult an expert on raccoons before attempting to adopt a raccoon.

Your Home

Raccoons are feisty, intelligent creatures. Once they reach a certain age, their curiosity and destructiveness hit a high point. They must be un-caged and free to roam in order to live healthy lives, and this causes issues within a person’s home. For example, they like to dig nests for themselves and burrow beneath them. This means your bed or sofa would be the ideal hole digging paradise for them. A raccoon would essentially need its own room with its own furnishings to be safe and relaxed as they can be, indoors; otherwise, you can kiss your mattresses, couches, recliners, and sofas goodbye.

They are also skilled climbers and as said before, very curious. They can and will get into anything and everything, such as trash cans, cabinets, drawers, potted plants, laundry baskets, and more. Your entire home would basically have to be proofed and specifically built to replicate their natural environment and to accommodate them in your home.

Health Risks

Although cute and irresistible looking, raccoons are carriers of many viral diseases such as rabies, distemper, canine hepatitis, and more. They are also known to potentially spread roundworms and more serious variations of the infection. This is a huge red flag for anyone wanting to adopt and domesticate a baby raccoon they have found in the wild. Even if taken to a vet, the raccoon may have irreversible damage or have already infected your home. Health concerns are important to consider if you are still thinking about making a wild raccoon your pet.

Legal Concerns

In most states, owning a raccoon is illegal anyway. It is a risk to take in a stray raccoon or other wild animal because it can result in a load of fines and even loss of animal ownership rights. Other states require a permit to own an exotic animal, in which a raccoon is categorized under. Raccoons bite and this risk is taken seriously among many local governments. This is another reason to reconsider domesticating a baby raccoon, no matter how cute and helpless it may be.

Is a Pet Raccoon a Good Idea?

If you or your family is considering having a raccoon as a pet, there are numerous factors that you need to consider. Raccoons can be very complicated animals and will require a lot to be content in your home.

Raccoons can be a great pet for your family to have because of the amount of attention that they require from you, but this can also be a downside. One of the first factors that you should consider is if it will be legal to have a raccoon as a pet. In most states, it is illegal to own a raccoon, and keep it in your domesticated home. While it is illegal, there are also many states that will allow you to keep a raccoon in your home under certain conditions. When caring for an abandoned raccoon, you are required to apply for a permit from the city.

The next factor that you should consider is that you must find a local vet clinic that will be willing to treat and care for a raccoon. Most vets are not willing to care for animals that aren’t domesticated such as cats and dogs. Once you have taken care of all the appropriate documentation, you can begin to create a home for your new pet raccoon.

Raccoons are the type of animal that likes to burrow in its home, so you will need to provide ample bedding for the raccoon to use. If you give the raccoon its own space to use, it will leave your furniture and beds alone. Raccoons are also needy pets, so you need to be prepared to spend a lot of play time with a pet such as this. Filling your bath tub up with water on a regular basis will provide ample play time as well as reducing its body odor.

Another important factor would be having your raccoon vaccinated appropriately. Rabies is always a big worry in animals that have been domesticated for pets. Once you have found a veterinarian clinic that is willing to take care of your raccoon, you will need to have your raccoon vaccinated. Most veterinarians will require that you get rabies and distemper shot for your pet raccoon. This will help to prevent any spread of rabies if your raccoon happens to bite anyone. This can be preventative measure to help protect your family in case something was to happen.

That’s all the things to consider before before deciding adopt a raccoon for pet. Raccoon is a wonderful animal. There are many things you should prepare to keep raccoon in your home.

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