I’ve been seeing raccoons all over the place lately, probably because of the cold.
So of course, I have to ask the question, Can you legally have a raccoon as a pet in Washington?
In doing the research, the short answer is, “No, it is NOT legal to have a pet raccoon in the state of Washington.” It is illegal to possess wild animals in Washington.
From the Department of Washington Fish and Wildlife website:
It is illegal to own animals that may infect people with rabies. Animals illegal to own under this law include:
According to the Washington Department of Health:
Rabies is a severe viral disease that affects the central nervous system. It is almost always fatal. All warm-blooded mammals including humans are susceptible to rabies.
From the CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
Only one human has ever died from the raccoon strain of rabies. It isn’t uncommon for a healthy raccoon to be active in the daytime, but it’s highly unusual for a raccoon to be aggressive toward a person. A female may boldly defend her young, arching her back and growling or giving a loud “whoof,” and perhaps lunging at a person she deems threatening. Only very rarely will a raccoon chase after someone seen as threatening.
It is legal to have a raccoon as a pet in the following states:
Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
LOOK: Here are the pets banned in each state
Because the regulation of exotic animals is left to states, some organizations, including The Humane Society of the United States, advocate for federal, standardized legislation that would ban owning large cats, bears, primates, and large poisonous snakes as pets.
Read on to see which pets are banned in your home state, as well as across the nation.
States with the most registered hunters
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