How To Get A Pet Raccoon? – Necessary Steps

Are you planning to bring a pet raccoon home but have no idea about the legal procedure? Do you want to know municipal, provincial, and federal policies and regulations related to owning an exotic animal? If yes, you’re at the right place.

Guide on how to Get a Pet Raccoon

In this brief guide, we’ll address the laws and regulations related to wild raccoons in different states. How can you get ownership of raccoons as pets? What legal procedures you’ve to follow to get a pet raccoon legally?

How To Get A Pet Raccoon In The United States

Raccoons are highly invasive, adaptable animals. That’s why they aren’t allowed to keep in many states. The government banned the possession of wild raccoons as they are vectors of pathogens, harmful bacteria, and parasites that can cause complicated health issues.

Raccoons are also destructive and can cause severe damage to agriculture. Their possession is illegal in Arizona, Maryland, Idaho, Kentucky, Colorado, Louisiana, and Massachusetts.

But, fortunately for you, some states still allow you to own a raccoon as a pet. With a permit, you can own a raccoon in States like Indiana, Pennsylvania, Nebraska, Michigan, South Carolina, and Virginia. Follow the simple steps to own a raccoon as a pet in the US.

The Police regulation, Chapter 169.04 stated, “No individual may own any live wildlife animal unless the individual holds a legal license or other approved certificate to own the wild species as required under s. 29.319 and the individual are otherwise in agreement with Chapter 169.04 and the rules promulgated under this chapter.”

Step 1: Contact Your Local Wildlife Agency

Search for the nearest wildlife agency to cross-check the laws and regulations against owning a raccoon as a pet. The agency will guide you in the right direction. The wildlife agency will also let you know the latest laws related to raccoon ownership.

Your local city jurisdiction may have additional restrictions and laws against owning a pet raccoon. You may need other municipal or provincial permits. The agency will better put insight into the latest amendments in practices and restrictions.

Step 2: Find An Authorized Breeder

It is illegal in almost every state to take a raccoon from the wild. The government can take strict action against you for this. Do your research before you decide to buy from an online source.

Different states have different laws and regulations to ensure your raccoon’s safety; make sure it is legal. Otherwise, it will be fairly impossible to find a vet.

It is highly recommended that you buy a raccoon from an authorized and reputable breeder or vet. This will ensure that you’re purchasing a parasitic-free, healthy raccoon with a health certificate.

Be aware of online scams and try not to buy raccoons from online market services unless the online seller has an authentic certificate and is a reputable breeder.

To be extra sure, check the breeder license and certificates.

Step 3: Obtain An Import Permit

It is illegal to own a raccoon without a permit. If you’re planning to buy a raccoon from a breeder from another state, then you need a permit first. For importing raccoons from other states, you’ve to apply for an import permit as well. A CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora) permit is a must in such a case.

In addition to import permits, you also have to provide your state government with a health certificate to prove that the imported raccoon is free from any parasitic disease.

How To Get A Pet Raccoon In Canada

Similar to the US, several Canadian states don’t allow the possession of raccoons as pets. The government believes raccoons aren’t pets but wildlife animals. Raccoons are native to almost every state in Canada.

How to Get a Pet Raccoon

In some provinces of Canada, you might get to own a raccoon with permits. For instance, in Nova Scotia, you can get to own an injured or orphaned raccoon. As the injured raccoons aren’t fit to survive the wildlife, the provincial government allows people to provide shelter to the wounded or orphaned raccoons.

In Ontario, you may get to own a raccoon if you run a zoo or a researcher. The provincial government will only allow you to get raccoons if you’re involved in some sort of scientific research on the species. Other than zoo owners and researchers, nobody is allowed to possess a raccoon.

According to The Police regulation, Chapter 169.04, “Veterinarians providing treatment, public zoo or aquarium, and researchers involved in the related study are exempt from holding a license or other approval as required under this chapter to own any wildlife.

Other than these two provinces of Canada, no other province accepts the possessions of the raccoon as pets. The legal procedure to get a raccoon in Canada is similar to the US. Follow the same steps if you find yourself eligible to own a raccoon in Canada.

How To Get A Pet Raccoon In The Uk

Unfortunately, you can’t possess a raccoon in the UK. Since 2016, the Britain government has strictly forbidden possessing a raccoon as pets. The government has classified them as highly invasive, adaptable species.

It is illegal for every individual in the UK and across the EU to possess, import, sell, or breed raccoons within the UK. Even zoo owners aren’t allowed to breed the existing species of raccoons. They are only allowed to exhibit the existing stock in the UK.

If you’re involved in research on the raccoon species, the government may provide you with a special permit. But the chances depend on the nature of your study.


Raccoons have been declared highly invasive and fairly destructive in almost every part of the EU. To get a pet raccoon in the EU, you must follow the necessary municipal, provincial, and federal laws and regulations. Only this way, possessing a raccoon won’t bring unwanted trouble for you.