New York State couple fined after bringing raccoon to pet store


Did you know that it is illegal to bring a raccoon to a pet store in New York State? A couple recently found out you can’t, and it looks like they could be fined for it.

Officials say they received an urgent call from a pet store in early June saying the two had brought the animal into the shop. Raccoons are wild animals known to carry and transmit rabies. Unfortunately, this couple’s irresponsibility cost this animal in the long run.

Raccoon in store

NBC says a police officer from the Department of Environmental Conservation received the call from an employee of the Erie County pet store. The officer was able to track the couple using video from the store’s surveillance camera and found the license plate of the vehicle they were driving. Erie County officials say the man and his girlfriend, from Attica, were at the store buying supplies.

The DEC said in a press release that the couple were fined $500 for bringing the animal into the store. The New York Post says the duo voluntarily turned the raccoon over to authorities and was brought to a clinic for a rabies test. The animal tested negative, according to the Post. NBC says that to perform the rabies test, the raccoon had to be euthanized.

Can you own a Racoon in New York State?

The NY DEC website states that while raccoons are protected by law in the state.. no a can own a raccoon without a permit, and no permits are issued for pets.

rare fauna

In addition, a woman posted on Facebook photos of an animal near train tracks that she witnessed while riding a quad with her husband. says the pair were near the village of Carthage, NY on June 12 when they spotted the creature. Some thought the ghostly white animal might be some kind of strange dog. A commentator even though it may be a capybara (which is native to South America, not upstate New York). But on closer inspection, the quills say it’s a porcupine. In this case, an albino porcupine.

See the pictures HERE.


Porcupines are generally nocturnal animals, so you don’t usually see them in broad daylight like this. Albinos, of all species, are even rarer. According to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, approximately one in 10,000 species is an albino. Albinism is defined by Wikipedia as the congenital absence of melanin in an animal, plant, or person, resulting in white hair, feathers, scales, and skin, and pink eyes.

Can you own one as a pet in New York?

“New World” porcupines are found in forested areas of North America, most commonly in places like northern New England (and some here in the Hudson Valley as well). They are plentiful too. According to Wikipedia, porcupines hold the record for the longest living rodent. Their thousands of quills or spines may look sharp, but according to Wildlifehelp, org, they can’t “pull” their quills, but the quills come out quite easily on contact”. You can even pet a porcupine if you’re careful.

WATCH: Here are the pets banned in each state

Since the regulation of exotic pets is left to the states, some organizations, including the Humane Society of the United States, are advocating for standardized federal legislation that would prohibit the ownership of large cats, bears, primates, and large poisonous snakes as pets.

Read on to see which pets are banned in your home country, as well as nationwide.


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