Get Your Furry Friend: How to Get a Permit to Own a Raccoon

For some people, owning a pet raccoon can be a dream come true. However, before taking the plunge, it is important to understand the legal requirements for owning a raccoon. In most states, owning a raccoon requires a permit or license. This article will provide information on how to obtain a permit to own a raccoon.

The process of obtaining a permit to own a raccoon will vary depending on the state. Some states may require a permit for all exotic pets, while others may have specific requirements for raccoons. It is important to research the laws in your state before attempting to obtain a permit. In addition to state laws, some cities and counties may have their own regulations regarding exotic pet ownership.

Before applying for a permit, it is important to ensure that you are prepared to provide proper care for a raccoon. Raccoons require a lot of attention and care, and can live up to 20 years in captivity. It is recommended to have experience caring for exotic animals before attempting to own a raccoon. Additionally, raccoons can be destructive and may require a lot of space to roam. It is important to have a suitable living space and to take necessary precautions to childproof the area.

Research the Laws in Your Area

Before getting a raccoon as a pet, it is important to research the laws in your area to ensure that it is legal to own one. Laws regarding owning exotic animals vary from state to state, and even within different cities and counties. Here are some steps to take when researching the laws in your area:

Contact Your State’s Wildlife Agency

The first step in researching the laws in your area is to contact your state’s wildlife agency. They will be able to provide you with information on whether or not it is legal to own a raccoon in your state, as well as any permits or licenses that may be required. They can also provide you with information on how to obtain a permit or license if necessary.

Check Local Ordinances

In addition to state laws, it is important to check local ordinances to see if there are any restrictions on owning a raccoon in your city or county. Some cities or counties may require additional permits or have specific regulations regarding the ownership of exotic animals. It is important to be aware of these regulations before getting a raccoon as a pet.

By researching the laws in your area and obtaining any necessary permits or licenses, you can ensure that you are legally able to own a raccoon as a pet. This will help prevent any legal issues or fines down the road.

Prepare Your Home and Property for a Raccoon

Before bringing a raccoon into your home, it’s important to ensure that your property is prepared to provide a safe and secure habitat for your new pet. Here are some steps you can take:

Create a Safe and Secure Habitat

Raccoons are curious and intelligent animals, so it’s important to make sure that their habitat is secure to prevent them from escaping or getting into dangerous situations. This can be achieved by:

  • Installing a sturdy and secure enclosure for your raccoon to live in, such as a large dog kennel or a custom-built enclosure.
  • Ensuring that the enclosure is located in a quiet and secluded area of your property, away from any potential hazards such as busy roads or bodies of water.
  • Securing the enclosure with locks or other mechanisms to prevent your raccoon from escaping.

Provide Adequate Food and Water

Raccoons have a varied diet and require a mix of fruits, vegetables, meat, and insects to stay healthy. It’s important to provide your raccoon with a balanced diet that meets their nutritional needs. This can be achieved by:

  • Consulting with a veterinarian or animal nutritionist to develop a diet plan for your raccoon.
  • Providing fresh water daily in a sturdy and secure water dish.
  • Ensuring that all food and water dishes are cleaned and sanitized regularly to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.

Install Enrichment Items

Raccoons are active and curious animals that require mental stimulation and physical exercise to stay healthy and happy. Providing enrichment items can help to keep your raccoon entertained and engaged. This can be achieved by:

  • Providing toys and puzzles that encourage problem-solving and exploration.
  • Creating climbing structures and platforms for your raccoon to explore and play on.
  • Providing access to natural materials such as branches and leaves for your raccoon to explore and play with.

Apply for a Permit

Before owning a raccoon, it is important to obtain a permit. Here are the steps to follow:

Fill Out the Application Form

The first step is to fill out the application form. The form requires information about the applicant, such as name, address, and contact information. It also asks for details about the raccoon, such as its age, sex, and where it will be kept. It is important to fill out the form accurately and completely to avoid any delays in the process.

Pay the Required Fees

Once the application form is completed, the next step is to pay the required fees. The fees vary depending on the state and the type of permit being applied for. It is important to check with the local wildlife agency to determine the exact fees and payment methods.

Submit Your Application

After filling out the application form and paying the fees, the final step is to submit the application. The application can be submitted online, by mail, or in person. It is important to follow the instructions carefully to ensure the application is submitted correctly.

Once the application is submitted, it may take several weeks or months to process. During this time, the wildlife agency may conduct an inspection of the applicant’s property to ensure it is suitable for a raccoon. It is important to be patient and follow up with the wildlife agency if there are any delays or questions about the application.

Attend an Inspection

After submitting your application and obtaining the necessary permits, you will need to attend an inspection to ensure that your home and raccoon enclosure meet the requirements set forth by your state’s wildlife agency. Here are some key things to keep in mind:

Prepare for the Inspection

Prior to the inspection, you should thoroughly clean and disinfect the raccoon enclosure and surrounding area. You should also make sure that the enclosure is secure and free from any hazards that could harm the raccoon. The inspector will be checking to ensure that the enclosure is of adequate size and that it provides the raccoon with enough space to move around and engage in natural behaviors.

You should also be prepared to show proof of ownership and the necessary permits, as well as any documentation related to the raccoon’s health and well-being. The inspector may also ask about your experience caring for wild animals and your plans for providing the raccoon with proper nutrition and veterinary care.

Pass the Inspection

If your home and raccoon enclosure meet the necessary requirements, you will be granted permission to keep your pet raccoon. However, if the inspector identifies any issues or concerns, you may be required to make modifications or improvements before you can obtain final approval.

It is important to note that inspections may be conducted periodically to ensure that you are providing proper care for your raccoon and that the enclosure remains secure and free from hazards. Failure to comply with these regulations could result in fines, revocation of your permit, or even legal action.


Getting a permit to own a raccoon is a process that requires research, patience, and commitment. It is important to ensure that you meet all the requirements and regulations set by your state and local authorities before applying for a permit.

Remember that owning a raccoon is not for everyone. Raccoons are wild animals and require specialized care and attention. They are not domesticated animals like cats and dogs and can be unpredictable and dangerous if not handled properly.

If you are serious about owning a raccoon, take the time to learn about their behavior, diet, and habitat requirements. Talk to other raccoon owners and seek advice from veterinarians and wildlife experts.

Finally, remember that owning a raccoon is a privilege, not a right. It is important to respect and protect these animals and their natural habitats. By following the rules and regulations set by your state and local authorities, you can ensure that you and your raccoon can live together safely and happily.

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