Can You Have A Pet Raccoon In Ohio?

Are you a fan of raccoons and wondering if it’s legal to have one as a pet in Ohio? Well, you’re not alone! Raccoons are adorable creatures with their distinctive markings and curious personalities. However, owning a pet raccoon in Ohio is not as simple as you may think.

In this article, we will dive into the laws surrounding pet raccoons in Ohio. We will explore the pros and cons of having a raccoon as a pet and provide you with all the necessary information to make an informed decision. So, let’s get started and find out if you can have a pet raccoon in Ohio!

Can You Have a Pet Raccoon in Ohio?

Can You Have a Pet Raccoon in Ohio?

Raccoons are adorable and fascinating creatures that have captured the hearts of many people. While it is legal to keep them as pets in some states, it is important to understand the laws and regulations in your state before you consider adopting one. In Ohio, the laws surrounding pet raccoons are complex and strict. This article will provide you with all the information you need to know before you decide to have a pet raccoon in Ohio.

Ohio Laws on Owning a Pet Raccoon

According to Ohio state law, it is illegal to keep a raccoon as a pet unless you are a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. This means that if you want to keep a raccoon as a pet, you must obtain a wildlife rehabilitation permit from the Ohio Division of Wildlife. However, even with a permit, you are only allowed to keep the raccoon for a short period of time until it is released back into the wild.

If you are found to be keeping a raccoon as a pet without a permit, you could face fines and legal penalties. It is important to remember that raccoons are wild animals and require specific care and attention that most people are not equipped to provide. Additionally, raccoons can carry diseases that can be harmful to humans, so it is important to take caution when interacting with them.

The Risks of Owning a Pet Raccoon

While raccoons are cute and entertaining, they are not suitable pets for most people. Raccoons are wild animals and have specific needs that require a lot of time, space, and resources. They are also known to be destructive and can cause damage to your home and property if they are not properly trained and socialized.

In addition to the challenges of caring for a raccoon, there are also health risks associated with owning one. Raccoons can carry diseases such as rabies, salmonella, and leptospirosis, which can be transmitted to humans through bites, scratches, or contact with their feces. It is important to take precautions when interacting with raccoons to prevent the spread of these diseases.

The Benefits of Not Owning a Pet Raccoon

While owning a pet raccoon may seem like a fun and exciting idea, there are many benefits to not owning one. By leaving raccoons in the wild, they can continue to play their important role in the ecosystem. Raccoons are natural scavengers and help to keep the environment clean by eating dead animals and decaying plant matter.

Additionally, by not owning a pet raccoon, you are avoiding the potential legal and financial consequences of keeping a wild animal as a pet. You can instead focus your time and resources on caring for domestic animals that are more suitable for life as a pet.

The Differences Between Raccoons and Domestic Pets

While raccoons may seem like cute and cuddly pets, they are vastly different from domestic pets such as cats and dogs. Raccoons are wild animals and have specific needs that require a lot of time, attention, and resources. They are not easy to train and can be destructive if they are not properly socialized.

Additionally, raccoons have specific dietary needs that can be difficult to meet in a domestic setting. They require a varied diet that includes fruits, vegetables, and protein sources such as insects and small animals. Unlike domestic pets, raccoons cannot simply be fed kibble or canned food.

The Costs of Owning a Pet Raccoon

Owning a pet raccoon can be expensive. In addition to the cost of obtaining a wildlife rehabilitation permit, you will need to provide your raccoon with a suitable living environment. This may include a large outdoor enclosure with climbing structures and hiding places. You will also need to provide your raccoon with a varied diet that includes fresh produce and protein sources.

In the event that your raccoon becomes sick or injured, you may need to seek veterinary care, which can be expensive. Additionally, if your raccoon becomes destructive and damages your property, you will be responsible for the cost of repairs.

The Verdict: Can You Have a Pet Raccoon in Ohio?

In conclusion, while it is possible to obtain a permit to keep a raccoon as a pet in Ohio, it is not recommended. Raccoons are wild animals and require specific care and attention that most people are not equipped to provide. Additionally, owning a raccoon can be expensive and potentially dangerous.

By leaving raccoons in the wild, they can continue to play their important role in the ecosystem, and you can focus your time and resources on caring for domestic pets that are more suitable for life as a pet.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it legal to have a pet raccoon in Ohio?

In Ohio, it is illegal to keep a raccoon as a pet without a proper permit. Raccoons are considered wild animals and are not suitable as pets. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources regulates the possession of wild animals in the state and has strict laws on keeping them as pets.

If you are caught with a pet raccoon without a permit, you could face fines and penalties. It is also important to note that raccoons can carry diseases such as rabies, which can be transmitted to humans through bites or scratches. Therefore, it is not recommended to keep raccoons as pets.

What is the process for obtaining a permit to have a pet raccoon in Ohio?

To obtain a permit to have a pet raccoon in Ohio, you must first meet certain requirements. You must have a suitable location to house the raccoon, such as a large outdoor enclosure with proper fencing and shelter. You will also need to pass a background check and have a veterinarian certify that the raccoon is healthy.

Once you have met these requirements, you can apply for a permit through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. The permit process can take several weeks to complete, and there is a fee associated with obtaining the permit. It is important to note that permits are only granted for educational or scientific purposes, not for personal pets.

Can a baby raccoon be kept as a pet in Ohio?

No, it is illegal to keep a baby raccoon as a pet in Ohio without a proper permit. Baby raccoons, also known as kits, are typically taken from the wild by people who believe they are abandoned or orphaned. However, this is often not the case, and removing a baby raccoon from its natural environment can be harmful to its health and development.

If you find a baby raccoon in the wild, it is best to leave it alone and contact a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. They have the experience and resources to care for the animal and release it back into the wild once it is ready.

What are the dangers of keeping a pet raccoon in Ohio?

Keeping a pet raccoon in Ohio can pose several dangers to both the owner and the animal. Raccoons are wild animals and can be unpredictable and aggressive, especially if they feel threatened or cornered. They can also carry diseases such as rabies, which can be transmitted to humans through bites and scratches.

In addition, raccoons have specific dietary and environmental needs that can be difficult to meet in a domestic setting. Keeping a raccoon as a pet can be expensive and time-consuming, and may not provide the same level of companionship as a domesticated animal.

What are some alternative pets to raccoons in Ohio?

If you are looking for a pet in Ohio, there are many alternative options that are legal and can provide companionship. Dogs and cats are popular choices, as well as smaller animals such as hamsters, guinea pigs, and rabbits.

If you are interested in exotic pets, there are many species of reptiles and amphibians that are legal to own in Ohio, such as bearded dragons and corn snakes. It is important to do your research and understand the needs and requirements of any animal you are considering as a pet.

Watch This Before You Get A Pet Raccoon


In conclusion, the question of whether or not you can have a pet raccoon in Ohio is a tricky one. While it is technically legal to own a raccoon in Ohio, there are many regulations and requirements you must meet in order to do so. These regulations include obtaining a permit, providing proper housing and care for the animal, and ensuring that the raccoon does not pose a threat to public safety.

Overall, owning a pet raccoon in Ohio is not a decision to be taken lightly. It requires a significant amount of time, effort, and resources to provide for the animal’s needs and meet all the necessary legal requirements. Additionally, raccoons are wild animals that are not well-suited to life in captivity, and may not thrive in a domestic environment.

If you are considering owning a pet raccoon in Ohio, it is important to do your research and consult with experienced professionals to ensure that you are able to provide the best possible care for the animal. Ultimately, the decision to own a pet raccoon should not be based solely on the desire for a unique or exotic pet, but on a genuine commitment to the well-being of the animal and a willingness to meet all legal and ethical responsibilities.

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