Can You Own A Raccoon In Colorado?

Are you an animal lover who’s considering owning a raccoon in Colorado? You might be surprised to know that it’s not as simple as just bringing one home. While raccoons are cute and fascinating creatures, owning one as a pet is not legal in Colorado without proper permits and licenses.

Colorado is one of the states that strictly regulates the ownership of wild animals, including raccoons. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the laws and regulations surrounding raccoon ownership in Colorado, and what you need to know if you’re considering getting one as a pet. So, let’s dive in!

Can You Own a Raccoon in Colorado?

Can You Own a Raccoon in Colorado?

Colorado Laws on Owning Raccoons

Raccoons are wild animals that are known for their mischievous nature and their tendency to carry diseases. It is important to understand the laws surrounding raccoon ownership in Colorado before considering bringing one into your home.

In Colorado, it is illegal to own a raccoon as a pet without a permit. These permits can be obtained for educational or zoological purposes, but they are difficult to obtain for private individuals. The Colorado Department of Agriculture regulates the issuance of these permits and requires that the applicant demonstrate adequate facilities, knowledge, and experience in handling raccoons.

Why Owning a Raccoon is Not Recommended

While raccoons may seem like cute and cuddly pets, they are wild animals that are not suitable for domestication. Here are a few reasons why owning a raccoon is not recommended:

  1. Raccoons can be aggressive and unpredictable
  2. Raccoons can carry diseases that can be transmitted to humans
  3. Raccoons require specialized care and living conditions
  4. Raccoons can cause damage to your home and property

Raccoons are known for their sharp claws and teeth, which they use to climb trees and forage for food. When kept as pets, they can become aggressive and unpredictable, especially if they feel threatened. Additionally, raccoons are known carriers of diseases such as rabies and roundworm, which can be transmitted to humans through bites or scratches.

Raccoons also require specialized care and living conditions that most people are not equipped to provide. They need a large, secure enclosure with plenty of climbing space, as well as a varied and nutritious diet. They also require regular veterinary care to prevent and treat illnesses.

Finally, raccoons can cause damage to your home and property. They are known for their ability to open doors and cabinets, and they may chew through wires and insulation.

Alternatives to Owning a Raccoon

If you are interested in owning a raccoon, it is important to consider the risks and challenges involved. However, if you still want a pet that is similar to a raccoon, there are some alternatives to consider.

One option is a domesticated ferret, which is a small, playful animal that has a similar appearance to a raccoon. Ferrets are legal to own in Colorado and can make great pets with proper care and attention. Another option is a domesticated cat, which can provide similar companionship and entertainment without the risks associated with owning a wild animal.

The Bottom Line

While raccoons may seem like appealing pets, they are wild animals that are not suitable for domestication. In Colorado, it is illegal to own a raccoon as a pet without a permit, and these permits are difficult to obtain for private individuals. Instead, consider alternative pets such as ferrets or cats that are better suited for domestication.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the laws on owning a raccoon in Colorado?

Owning a raccoon is illegal in Colorado. The state considers raccoons to be wild animals and it is against the law to keep them as pets. In fact, it is illegal to own or keep any wild animal as a pet in Colorado without a permit.

However, it is possible to obtain a permit to own a raccoon in Colorado for educational purposes or rehabilitation. These permits are issued by the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife and are only granted to licensed wildlife rehabilitators or educational institutions.

What are the risks of owning a raccoon in Colorado?

Owning a raccoon can be dangerous and risky. Raccoons are wild animals and can be unpredictable and aggressive. They can also carry diseases that can be transmitted to humans, such as rabies and roundworm.

In addition, owning a raccoon in Colorado is illegal without a permit. If caught with a raccoon without a permit, you may face fines or other penalties. It is best to avoid owning a raccoon and instead admire them from a safe distance in their natural habitat.

Can I keep a raccoon as a pet if it was born in captivity?

No, owning a raccoon as a pet is illegal in Colorado regardless of where it was born. Raccoons are considered wild animals and it is against the law to keep them as pets without a permit.

Even if a raccoon was born in captivity, it is still a wild animal and may exhibit unpredictable and aggressive behavior. It is best to leave raccoons in their natural habitat and not attempt to keep them as pets.

What should I do if I find a baby raccoon?

If you find a baby raccoon, it is important to leave it alone and not attempt to take it home as a pet. Baby raccoons may appear orphaned, but their mother is likely nearby and will return to care for them.

If the baby raccoon appears injured or in distress, contact a licensed wildlife rehabilitator in Colorado. They will have the expertise and resources to care for the raccoon and release it back into the wild when it is ready.

What are some alternatives to owning a raccoon as a pet?

If you are interested in raccoons, there are many ways to admire and appreciate them without owning one as a pet. You can visit wildlife sanctuaries or zoos that have raccoons on display.

You can also observe raccoons in their natural habitat by taking a hike or camping in areas where they are known to live. Additionally, you can educate yourself and others about raccoons and the important role they play in the ecosystem.

Is It LEGAL to Keep RACCOONS AS PETS ❌ What CARE Do They Need?


In conclusion, owning a raccoon in Colorado is not legal without a special permit. While raccoons may seem like cute and cuddly pets, they are wild animals and can pose a danger to both humans and other pets. It is important to remember that wild animals should be left in their natural habitats and not kept as pets.

If you are interested in owning a raccoon, it is important to do your research and understand the laws and regulations in your area. It is also important to consider the responsibility that comes with owning a wild animal and the potential risks involved.

Overall, while it may be tempting to own a raccoon as a pet, it is important to prioritize the safety and well-being of both the animal and those around it. By respecting the laws and nature, we can ensure a healthier and safer environment for all.

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