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Do Raccoons Make Good Pets?

Thursday, December 12, 2013

First, it’s important to know that raccoons are prohibited as pets in Colorado. They are among the wildlife species that cannot be owned as pets within the state. Colorado Parks and Wildlife maintains a complete list of wild animals prohibited as pets in Colorado. Raccoons are explicitly listed, and this includes all species in the genus Porocyon, both those native to Colorado and imported.

Problems with Raccoon Pets

Raccoons are wild animals, and as such they are hard to care for properly. They are relatively large, strong, and cunning, making them hard to cage and control. They often weigh 20 pounds or more (the largest recorded was 75 pounds, but this is unusual), and their weight is largely muscle. Their ability to climb means that they cannot be confined to the ground, and they are often able to figure out how to escape cages.

As they mature, raccoons can become vicious and destructive. If you can’t keep them caged, you will have to deal with their behavior. They can attack other pets, kids, and even you. They will destroy everything in their path. You’re exposing yourself to liability if your raccoon attacks people or pets in the neighborhood.

Raccoons are largely nocturnal, so they’re likely to be most active when you’re sleeping. Not only can this be a nuisance because they will be noisy and can keep you awake, it means that you won’t be able to supervise them during their high-energy periods, resulting in more destruction.

And because raccoons are illegal, you’re unlikely to find a vet that will work on your raccoon without reporting you. You won’t be able to get proper veterinary care for your raccoon should it become sick or injured, and injuries to yourself or other pets will require lying or misleading your vet or doctor.

Worst of all, raccoons that are kept as pets cannot normally be returned to the wild. When you cannot care for your raccoon, or if it is discovered because it causes damage or injury to other people or their property, your raccoon will have to be killed.

If You Think about Adopting a Raccoon

If you come across a raccoon cub that you’re thinking of adopting, think again. Instead, contact a licensed animal control specialist who can remove it from your property and ensure it is properly cared for so it can be returned to the wild.

For help with raccoons on your Denver area property from Castle Rock to Evergreen, please contact Animal & Pest Control Specialist today.

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