Can You Own A Raccoon In Oregon ?

Are you considering owning a pet raccoon in Oregon? Before you head out to adopt one, there are a few things you should know. Raccoons may be cute and cuddly, but owning one as a pet can be quite challenging and is not legal in Oregon.

Can You Own a Raccoon in Oregon ?

Can You Own a Raccoon in Oregon?

Raccoons are one of the most adorable and fascinating creatures in the animal kingdom. They are incredibly intelligent and have a unique personality that makes them a popular choice for people looking for exotic pets. However, owning a raccoon as a pet is not as easy as it may seem, and it is essential to know the laws and regulations surrounding exotic pets in your state before bringing one home. This article will discuss whether it is legal to own a raccoon in Oregon.

State Laws Regarding Exotic Pets

Before owning a raccoon or any other exotic pet, it is crucial to understand the legal requirements in your state. In Oregon, the law prohibits the keeping of wild animals as pets, including raccoons. This law is in place to protect both the animal and the public.

However, there are exceptions to this law. If you want to keep a raccoon as a pet, you must obtain a permit from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. The permit is only granted to individuals who can demonstrate that they have the necessary knowledge and experience to provide proper care for the animal. Additionally, the raccoon must be obtained from a licensed breeder or rehabilitator.

The Risks of Owning a Raccoon

While raccoons may seem like cute and cuddly pets, they are not suitable for everyone. Raccoons are wild animals, and their behavior can be unpredictable. They are known to be mischievous and curious animals that can cause significant damage to property and belongings. They may also become aggressive and bite or scratch their owners if they feel threatened or scared.

Moreover, raccoons can carry diseases that can be transmitted to humans, such as rabies, leptospirosis, and salmonella. These diseases can be dangerous and even deadly if left untreated. Therefore, it is essential to take proper precautions when handling and caring for a pet raccoon.

The Benefits of Owning a Raccoon

Despite the risks associated with owning a raccoon, some people still choose to keep them as pets. Raccoons are intelligent animals that can be trained to perform simple tasks and tricks. They can also form strong bonds with their owners and provide companionship.

Moreover, raccoons have a unique personality that makes them fascinating pets. They are curious animals that love to explore their environment and interact with their surroundings. They are also playful and enjoy playing games with their owners.

Raccoons vs. Other Exotic Pets

While raccoons may be a popular choice for exotic pets, there are other options available for those who want a unique and fascinating pet. Some of the most popular exotic pets include sugar gliders, hedgehogs, and ferrets.

Sugar gliders are small marsupials that are known for their ability to glide through the air. They are social animals that require a lot of attention and interaction from their owners.

Hedgehogs are small, spiny animals that are popular for their cute and quirky appearance. They are low-maintenance pets that are easy to care for and can be trained to perform simple tricks.

Ferrets are playful and energetic animals that are popular for their social nature and their ability to form strong bonds with their owners. They require a lot of attention and interaction from their owners and need plenty of space to play and explore.

Conclusion

In conclusion, owning a raccoon in Oregon is not as simple as bringing one home as a pet. The state has strict laws and regulations in place to protect both the animal and the public. However, if you are willing to obtain a permit and have the necessary knowledge and experience to care for a raccoon properly, it can be a fascinating and rewarding pet. Ultimately, the decision to own an exotic pet should be made after careful consideration of the risks and benefits associated with the animal.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the legal requirements for owning a raccoon in Oregon?

In Oregon, it is illegal to own a raccoon as a pet without a permit. The permit requires proof of citizenship, a detailed description of the enclosure, and proof of a rabies vaccination for the raccoon. Additionally, it is required that the raccoon is obtained from a licensed and reputable breeder.

If you are found owning a raccoon without a permit, you can face serious legal consequences such as fines or even jail time. It is important to follow the legal requirements to ensure the safety and well-being of the raccoon.

What are the potential dangers of owning a raccoon as a pet?

Raccoons are wild animals and can be unpredictable and dangerous. They have sharp claws and teeth, and can transmit diseases such as rabies and roundworm to humans. Additionally, raccoons are known to be destructive and can cause damage to property.

Even if you obtain a permit to own a raccoon, it is important to understand the risks and take necessary precautions to ensure the safety of both the raccoon and humans.

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

If you are interested in owning a raccoon-like pet, there are several alternative options that are legal and safe. For example, domesticated ferrets and sugar gliders are popular pets that have similar playful and curious personalities as raccoons. Additionally, many animal shelters have a variety of small animals available for adoption.

It is important to research and understand the needs and characteristics of any pet before bringing them into your home.

Can I rehabilitate an injured or orphaned raccoon in Oregon?

In Oregon, it is legal to rehabilitate an injured or orphaned raccoon without a permit, but it is recommended to contact a licensed wildlife rehabilitator for assistance. Rehabilitating a raccoon can be a complex and time-consuming process, and it is important to have proper training and resources to ensure the best possible outcome for the animal.

It is also important to note that once the raccoon is rehabilitated and able to survive on its own, it must be released back into the wild in a suitable habitat.

What should I do if I see a raccoon in Oregon?

If you see a raccoon in Oregon, it is important to remember that they are wild animals and should not be approached or fed. If the animal appears injured or orphaned, contact a licensed wildlife rehabilitator for assistance.

Additionally, it is important to take measures to prevent raccoons from becoming a nuisance. This includes securing garbage cans, removing potential food sources such as pet food or bird feeders, and sealing any potential entry points into your home.

Watch This Before You Get A Pet Raccoon


In conclusion, owning a raccoon as a pet is illegal in Oregon. While some may find these animals cute and fascinating, it’s important to remember that raccoons are wild animals and not suitable as pets. In addition, keeping a raccoon in captivity can be harmful to the animal’s health and well-being.

Instead of trying to own a raccoon, consider observing them in their natural habitat or volunteering at a local wildlife sanctuary. By doing so, you can learn more about these fascinating animals and contribute to their preservation.

Overall, it’s important to respect the laws and regulations surrounding animal ownership in order to ensure the safety and well-being of both animals and humans. While owning a raccoon may seem like a fun and exciting idea, it’s ultimately not worth the risk and harm it could cause.

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