Topic:
ANIMALS;
Location:
ANIMALS - LEGISLATION;
Scope:
Connecticut laws/regulations;

OLR Research Report


April 28, 2003

 

2003-R-0394

SKUNKS AS PETS

By: Marcelle Pichanick, Research Fellow

You asked if (1) state law allows or ever allowed people to keep skunks as pets and (2) any state allows people to keep skunks as pets.

Connecticut law prohibits people from keeping any wild quadruped without a Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) permit (CGS 26-55). DEP does not issue permits that allow people to keep skunks as pets, according to Chris Vann of the DEP.

State regulations prohibit the importation of skunks (Conn. Agencies Reg. 26-55-2 (m)). Also, state law bans possession of skunks purchased in Connecticut establishments (CGS 26-40). The law was passed in 1980 because of cases of rabid skunks found in breeding facilities and retail establishments in the 1970s, according to Vann.

With some restrictions, 22 states allow people to keep skunks as pets. Table 1 lists these states and special conditions regarding keeping skunks as pets. The information contained in Table 1 was compiled from two sources: the Aspen Skunk Rabies Research, Inc., an organization dedicated to obtaining a government-approved rabies vaccine for skunks and the American Domestic Skunk Association, Inc., (the Ohio Chapter) an organization dedicated to assisting skunks and their owners.

TABLE 1: STATES THAT ALLOW THE POSSESSION OF SKUNKS AS PETS

State

Status

Special Conditions

Alabama

Legal

Must be obtained from a licensed breeder within state; Black/white require permits

Arkansas

Legal

Limit of six

Florida

Legal

Permit required

Georgia

Legal

Black/white illegal, all other colors legal

Idaho

Legal

(Cannot import), in-state purchase only, no permit required

Indiana

Legal

Permit required

Iowa

Legal

Permit required

Kentucky

Legal

Legal only in some areas of the state

Michigan

Legal

Permit required, In-state purchase only

New Jersey

Legal

Permit required, In-state purchase only

New Mexico

Legal

Permit required for pen-raised skunk, wild born skunk does not require permit

New York

Legal

No new permits being issued

Ohio

Legal

Permit required

Oklahoma

Legal

Must purchase from Oklahoma Dept. of Wildlife Conservation, license required

Oregon

Legal

Permit required; cannot buy or sell skunks, (they must be obtained for free)

Pennsylvania

Legal

In-state purchase only

South Carolina

Legal

Cannot buy or sell skunks

South Dakota

Legal

May only possess one

Texas

Legal

Permit and letter of authorization required, presently a moratorium on letters of authorization

West Virginia

Legal

In-state purchase only

Wisconsin

Legal

Permit required, cage requirements

Wyoming

Legal

No special conditions

Source: Aspen Skunk Rabies Research, Inc. & American Domestic Skunk Association, Inc., the Ohio Chapter

MP:eh