I know some folks are grossed out by Raccoons AKA "Trash Pandas," but I think they are the cutest little critters!


Raccoons in the United States

Raccoons are one of the most common mammals in North America.  They are nocturnal, so they spend their days sleeping and nights looking for food. Their diets have been described as "opportunistic" eating whatever they can find. Excellent swimmers, very agile, and their little hands can help them get into whatever it is they want to explore.

They look like little burglars with their black "masks" on their faces, and they will definitely help themselves to anything they want including garbage, hence their nickname. It's also possible for one of these guys to make their way into your home as well.

Would You Want a Raccoon as a Pet?

While they're adorable, they are still wild animals and a lot of states have laws regarding whether or not you can keep one as a pet. You have to consider the fact that although they may become mostly docile after some training, they will still protect themselves if they feel threatened and could harm you or a loved one. They're also very inquisitive and can make some pretty big messes when exploring your home. Which they will do at night time and may keep your family awake.

A couple of the comments on that video are from people who have kept raccoons as pets in the past. I thought they were pretty sweet and funny!

" I had a raccoon as a kid. He slept in my motorcycle helmet until he was bottle-weaned. After that, he wasn't allowed in the house unless under direct supervision however he was never caged and ran free outside and would come running out of the woods when called. His name was Baretta and he loved riding my motorcycle with me and I took him almost everywhere I went. He loved the ocean at O.C. Maryland and never hurt anyone bad enough for medical treatment. He was my best friend and pet I ever had. This was about 45 years ago and I still miss him."

"When I was a kid, we inherited 2 baby raccoons which we kept for about 6 months. They were extremely intelligent, would open drawers, cabinets - you name it. If you were lying on the couch, they would feel your face with their hands while looking away, kind of like a blind person. They didn't bite."

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It's Legal to Own a Raccoon in These States

I was honestly surprised this list is not longer. Only thirteen states allow residents to keep raccoons as pets.  Citing reasons such as the possibility of rabies transmission, and becoming a nuisance in public areas if they were to get out of the house. I was also surprised to see that even though raccoons are not allowed in some states, domesticated foxes are! These results come from wisevoter.com.

1. Arkansas
2. Delaware
3. Florida
4. Indiana
5. Michigan
6. Nebraska
7. Oklahoma
9. Rhode Island
10. South Carolina
11. Texas
12. West Virginia
13. Wisconsin
14. Wyoming

I am shocked that Kentucky is not on this list. It seems like a very "Kentucky" thing to domesticate a wild animal and keep it as a pet. Congratulations to all of the Hoosier's out there who get to pal around with a ring-tailed buddy. I'm totally not jealous at all. Hey, at least we can own a fox without breaking the law!


Source: A-Z Animals, wisevoters.com

LOOK: 30 fascinating facts about sleep in the animal kingdom

Gallery Credit: Katherine Gallagher

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