Can You Own A Raccoon In Georgia?

Have you ever wondered if you could own a raccoon as a pet in Georgia? While these furry creatures may seem like cute and cuddly companions, there are specific laws and regulations in place that determine whether or not you can legally own one. In this article, we’ll explore the ins and outs of raccoon ownership in Georgia, and help you understand the rules you need to follow if you’re considering getting one as a pet.

Can You Own a Raccoon in Georgia?

Can You Own a Raccoon in Georgia?

If you are an animal lover, you may have considered owning a raccoon as a pet. However, before you go out and get one, it’s important to know the laws regarding owning a raccoon in Georgia. In this article, we will discuss the regulations and requirements for owning a pet raccoon in Georgia.

Georgia Laws on Owning Raccoons

In Georgia, it is illegal to own a raccoon as a pet without a permit. This is because raccoons are considered wild animals and can carry diseases that are harmful to humans. Additionally, raccoons can be dangerous and aggressive, especially if they feel threatened. Therefore, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) requires a permit to own a raccoon.

To obtain a permit, you must meet certain requirements. First, you must be at least 18 years old and have no criminal history involving animal cruelty. You must also have experience caring for raccoons and have a suitable enclosure for the animal. The enclosure must be at least 10 feet by 20 feet and have a roof, walls, and a door.

Benefits of Owning a Raccoon

While owning a raccoon may not be for everyone, there are some benefits to having one as a pet. Raccoons are intelligent and curious animals that can be trained to do simple tasks, such as fetching items or using a litter box. They also have a playful and affectionate nature, making them great companions for those who are willing to put in the time and effort to care for them properly.

Another benefit of owning a raccoon is that they can help with pest control. Raccoons are natural hunters and can help keep your property free of rodents and other small animals.

Drawbacks of Owning a Raccoon

While there are benefits to owning a raccoon, there are also some drawbacks to consider. First and foremost, raccoons can be dangerous and unpredictable. They have sharp claws and teeth and can be aggressive if they feel threatened or cornered. Additionally, raccoons can carry diseases that are harmful to humans, such as rabies and roundworm.

Another drawback of owning a raccoon is that they require a lot of care and attention. Raccoons are social animals and need interaction with their owners to stay healthy and happy. They also require a specialized diet and a large enclosure to live in, which can be expensive and time-consuming to maintain.

Conclusion

In conclusion, owning a raccoon in Georgia is not as simple as just getting one and bringing it home. There are laws and regulations in place to protect both the animal and the public. While there are benefits to owning a raccoon, such as their intelligence and affectionate nature, there are also drawbacks to consider, such as their potential for aggression and the amount of care they require. If you are considering owning a raccoon, make sure to do your research and follow the proper procedures to ensure the health and safety of both you and the animal.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the laws on owning a raccoon in Georgia?

In Georgia, it is illegal to own a raccoon as a pet without a wildlife permit. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) regulates the possession of wildlife, which includes raccoons. The only exception is if you are a licensed wildlife rehabilitator or if you have a USDA Class C Exhibitor’s License.

It is important to note that even if you have a permit, you cannot take a raccoon from the wild to keep as a pet. You must obtain your raccoon from a licensed breeder or dealer.

What happens if someone is caught owning a pet raccoon without a permit?

If someone is caught owning a pet raccoon without a permit in Georgia, they could face fines and/or criminal charges. The penalties can vary depending on the severity of the offense and the discretion of the court. In addition, the raccoon may be confiscated and placed in the care of a licensed wildlife rehabilitator or released back into the wild.

It is important to follow the laws and regulations regarding wildlife ownership to protect both the animal and yourself from legal consequences.

Can I keep a raccoon as a pet if it was orphaned or injured?

If you find an orphaned or injured raccoon in Georgia, it is illegal to keep it as a pet without a wildlife permit. However, you can contact a licensed wildlife rehabilitator who can care for the raccoon and eventually release it back into the wild.

It is important to remember that raccoons are wild animals and require specialized care. Keeping a raccoon as a pet can be dangerous and lead to serious injuries for both the raccoon and the owner.

What should I do if I see someone owning a pet raccoon illegally?

If you see someone owning a pet raccoon illegally in Georgia, you can report it to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Wildlife Resources Division. They have a hotline that you can call to report wildlife violations. It is important to provide as much information as possible, including the location of the raccoon and a description of the owner.

Illegal ownership of wildlife can be harmful to both the animal and the environment. Reporting violations can help protect wildlife and ensure that the laws and regulations are being followed.

Are there any alternatives to owning a raccoon as a pet in Georgia?

Yes, there are many alternatives to owning a raccoon as a pet in Georgia. If you are interested in helping wildlife, you can volunteer or donate to licensed wildlife rehabilitators. You can also support wildlife conservation efforts through organizations such as the Georgia Wildlife Federation.

Additionally, there are many domesticated animals that make great pets, such as dogs and cats. Adopting a pet from a local animal shelter can provide companionship and help reduce the number of homeless animals in your community.

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


In conclusion, owning a raccoon in Georgia is illegal unless you have a wildlife permit. These permits are difficult to obtain and require extensive knowledge and experience in handling wild animals. It’s important to remember that raccoons are wild animals and not domesticated pets. They require specialized care and attention that most people are not equipped to provide.

While it may be tempting to have a raccoon as a pet, it’s important to consider the potential risks and consequences. Raccoons can carry diseases and may become aggressive as they mature. They also require a significant amount of space and resources to thrive. If you’re interested in owning a raccoon, it’s important to do your research and consider all the factors involved.

Overall, it’s best to leave raccoons in the wild where they belong. If you encounter a raccoon in your area, it’s important to keep your distance and avoid feeding them. By respecting these animals and their natural habitats, we can help ensure their continued survival for generations to come.

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