Pet Raccoon Laws By State

Some of the states where pet raccoons are legal are Arkansas, Delaware, and Florida.

Pet raccoon laws research summary. We researched the legality of raccoons as pets across the United States. After we reviewed every state, like a raccoon foraging for food, we found the following.

  • Raccoons are legal pets in 19 states, including Oklahoma, Florida, and Ohio.

  • Raccoons are not legal pets in 31 states like California, Oregon, and New York.

Map Of Where Raccoons Are Legal Pets In The US

Map Of Pet Raccoon Legal Status By State In The United States

Click to enlarge

The map shows that the upper Midwest is partial to having raccoons as pets. A cluster of states that includes Indiana, Michigan, and Illinois all allow pet raccoons. Additionally, more traditional individual rights states like Texas and Oklahoma also have legal raccoons.

It’s important to note that while some states in the Midwest might permit raccoon ownership, there are often regulations and requirements to ensure the safety and welfare of the animals and the community. These regulations include obtaining permits, meeting specific enclosure standards, and adhering to health and safety guidelines.

States Where A Pet Raccoon Is Legal

Historically, raccoons were commonly kept as pets by Native American tribes and early settlers in the area. This cultural acceptance and the relatively abundant population of raccoons in the Midwest and Oklahoma might have contributed to a more lenient attitude toward keeping them as pets.

  1. Arkansas – Legal
  2. Delaware – Legal
  3. Florida – Legal
  4. Illinois – Legal
  5. Indiana – Legal
  6. Michigan – Legal
  7. Nebraska – Legal
  8. New Jersey – Legal
  9. Ohio – Legal
  10. Oklahoma – Legal

States Where A Pet Raccoon Is Illegal

Raccoons are typically not allowed as pets in much of the Northeastern region due to concerns over disease transmission, potential environmental disruption, behavioral challenges, and the need for wildlife protection.

  1. Alabama – Illegal
  2. Alaska – Illegal
  3. Arizona – Illegal
  4. California – Illegal
  5. Colorado – Illegal
  6. Connecticut – Illegal
  7. Georgia – Illegal
  8. Hawaii – Illegal
  9. Idaho – Illegal
  10. Iowa – Illegal

Pet Raccoon Laws By State

State Pet Raccoon Legal Status Permit?
Arkansas Legal No
Delaware Legal Yes
Florida Legal Yes
Illinois Legal Yes
Indiana Legal Yes
Michigan Legal Yes
Nebraska Legal Yes
New Jersey Legal Yes
Ohio Legal Yes
Oklahoma Legal Yes
Rhode Island Legal No
South Carolina Legal Yes
South Dakota Legal Yes
Tennessee Legal Yes
Texas Legal Yes
Vermont Legal No
West Virginia Legal Yes
Wisconsin Legal Yes
Wyoming Legal Yes
Alabama Illegal
Alaska Illegal
Arizona Illegal
California Illegal
Colorado Illegal
Connecticut Illegal
Georgia Illegal
Hawaii Illegal
Idaho Illegal
Iowa Illegal
Kansas Illegal
Kentucky Illegal
Louisiana Illegal
Maine Illegal
Maryland Illegal
Massachusetts Illegal
Minnesota Illegal
Mississippi Illegal
Missouri Illegal
Montana Illegal
Nevada Illegal
New Hampshire Illegal
New Mexico Illegal
New York Illegal
North Carolina Illegal
North Dakota Illegal
Oregon Illegal
Pennsylvania Illegal
Utah Illegal
Virginia Illegal
Washington Illegal

Methodology: How We Determined The Pet Raccoon Laws In Each State

To determine the legality of raccoons as pets in various states, we conducted the following analysis:

  1. Compilation of State Pet Raccoon Laws. An initial step involved gathering information on raccoon ownership regulations from reliable legal sources, including official state government websites, wildlife departments, and legal databases. This compilation ensured accurate and up-to-date information.

  2. Legal Review Of Pet Raccoon Laws: Each state’s specific regulations were carefully reviewed to identify whether raccoons were allowed as pets, restricted under specific conditions, or prohibited outright. Key details, such as permit requirements, enclosure standards, and ownership restrictions, were noted.

  3. Mapping Raccoon Laws By State: Finally, we mapped the legal status of pet raccoon ownership in each state.

Note we are not lawyers, and this is not legal advice. Before making a raccoon a pet, please check with local authorities.


The allowance or prohibition of raccoons as pets varies across states due to a complex interplay of cultural history, ecological considerations, public health concerns, and legislative decisions.

States in the Midwest, where raccoon ownership has historical roots and greater familiarity with wildlife exists, may be more lenient.

However, the Northeast’s stricter approach stems from a desire to protect local ecosystems and public health.

Ultimately, the differing approaches reflect the delicate balance between preserving native species, ensuring animal welfare, and safeguarding human well-being, with each region tailoring its stance based on its unique circumstances and priorities.

In my experience, I’d prefer a dog to a raccoon any day.


About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.