The Short Answer: No
Raccoons are cute and look nice to cuddle with while watching them scampering about can be wildly amusing. Wanting to keep a raccoon as a pet is a natural desire for many people but before getting into why this is a bad idea, you need to first check with your provincial and municipal laws on whether it is legal in the first place.
Raccoons are considered protected wildlife in Canada so you cannot keep them as pets. Alberta, for example, specifically prohibits keeping raccoons, bats and skunks as pets because of the risk of rabies. Ontario only allows keeping raccoons in a zoo or strictly for research purposes while Nova Scotia appears a little lenient and may allow you to keep an orphaned or injured raccoon especially if you have been nursing it. You almost definitely need a permit at the very least to keep a raccoon as a pet.
Why You Shouldn’t Keep a Raccoon as a Pet
Even if you could get a permit to keep a raccoon as a pet it’s still not a good idea for the following reasons;
- Raccoons are a wild animal so there is the ever-present risk of attack. Even raccoons that have been born and bred in captivity occasionally show their wild instincts.
- A house-trained raccoon is almost unheard of. The best you can hope for is the animal uses a litter box occasionally. You have to commit to taking the raccoon outside regularly or resign to cleaning up after it.
- Raccoons are destructive by nature so you will have to repair insulation, door mouldings and furniture often. They will also occasionally get into fights with your pets. Keeping a wild animal in a cage or confined in a room is inhumane.
- Wild animals are unpredictable so you have a potential insurance liability on your hands if the raccoon attacks a guest unexpectedly. You are also exposing yourself, your pets and children to potential attacks.
- Veterinarians are hardly trained in treating raccoons so finding quality healthcare for your pet is definitely a challenge. You also have to show proof of purchase or a license to keep the animal otherwise you might be facing a fine and/or have the animal confiscated.
What to Do With a Raccoon
If you have a raccoon living on your property or have spotted one that may need your help, call a wildlife removal company. Raccoons are primary carriers of rabies and can attack when they feel threatened or cornered. It is best to avoid the animals if at all possible.
Call a raccoon removal company in Toronto to evict the raccoon safely and humanely. The expert will also sell your house to avoid a future invasion, clean up after the wildlife to prevent diseases and attracting other animals and repair any damage that the raccoons might have caused.