Baby raccoons are adorable little critters; with soft furry faces and little paws that will melt even the coldest of hearts. Although cute and charming, raccoons are wild animals, baby or not. In fact, it takes thousands of years to domesticate a species of animal. For instance, the dog and cat have been bred in captivity for over 20,000 years. This is why we can take them in as pets without any danger or consequences. Instinctively bred in their genes, a baby raccoon will grow up to be a wild animal in almost all domestication cases. Continue reading to learn the basic dangers of owning or domesticating a wild raccoon, or any animal for that matter. Learn why it is important for wild animals to remain in their natural habitat and environment; and why humans should admire these fascinating creatures from afar, rather than inside their homes.
Raccoons are fascinating mammals because of their incredible dexterity, intellect, and inquisitiveness. They are highly capable animals that can open doors, lift latches, grab and hold, and much more; just as a human hand. These characteristics, among many others, are prime examples of how destructive a pet raccoon can be in a domesticated environment. Raccoons like to explore, investigate, and dig around. In a residential setting, this can be disastrous. Because there is no controlling or training an adolescent or adult raccoon, there is no chance of teaching them to behave indoors. They are highly intelligent, which also contributes to their stubbornness for domestication.
The destruction possibilities are endless. They can knock over good china, burrow inside mattresses, rip up upholstery, bury and hide household ornaments, help themselves to the refrigerator, raid the garbage cans, rip out dry wall, tear down curtains, and more. Keep in mind, they are also nocturnal. Some may recommend caging a raccoon for a possible solution; however, caging raccoons is even worse than allowing them access to roam free. Wild animals are not meant to be caged, therefore, it is not advised to own one as a pet if proper care cannot be provided on a consistent basis. Animal sanctuaries, such as zoos and rehabilitation centers, are the only settings that are appropriate for wild animal domestication.
Property damage is not the worst risk associated with owning a pet raccoon. Health concerns are another danger to fully understand before taking in a wild animal. Raccoons are common carriers of many illnesses that can affect humans and other animals, such as dogs and cats. Diseases like rabies, distemper, canine hepatitis, roundworm, lice, ticks, and scabies, are among a few of the most commonly diagnosed in North America. These illnesses can be passed along by fur, saliva, urine, droppings, and blood. If a raccoon bites or scratches a person, they are at risk to catching a disease if the animal is a carrier of one.
Raccoon scat is another health hazard. Also known as raccoon droppings, scat can contain many undesirable threats. One common hazard is roundworm. These worms are microscopic and can lay hundreds of eggs in raccoon scat. If picked up and ingested by human or pet, the possible implications include violent nausea, blindness, organ failure, and even death.
Obstruction of Local Ordinances
In many states and counties, wild raccoon domestication is illegal. If a person is caught with a pet raccoon, they are liable to losing all pet ownership rights. They would be forced to pay legal penalties and court fines as well. In other states, owning a raccoon as a pet is legal so long as the person has an exotic pet license. These permits can be obtained just as easily as a gun permit, in most cities.