Utah has some strict rules on animals you can own, however, with a permit some can be kept at home.  

Most people think of dogs, cats, hamsters, and even horses as pets but some crazy individuals (like me) consider all manner of creatures when looking for a furry companion. Now this is not to say that you should pick up a baby squirrel or raccoon if you see one in the Utah wild.  

These are wild creatures as the Utah Department of Wildlife Resources says. They have different habits than a dog or a cat and need to be treated differently. A special kind of person is needed to raise the creatures, but it is possible in Utah.  

These non-protected animals can be kept but ONLY with a permit and if you can’t provide one for each animal, the DWR can seize them at any time. It's also considered a Class B misdemeanor if you are found to be keeping wildlife without the proper permits.  

  • Raccoons 
  • Striped skunks 
  • Coyotes 
  • Ground squirrels 
  • Gophers 
  • Jack rabbits 
  • Muskrats 
  • Field mice 

It can be tempting to try and “save” a baby animal and there are so many videos on TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook that show the cute sides of owning a wild animal.  

However, the DWR said that when we run into a baby animal on its own out in the wild, the mother is usually nearby. So, leave it alone unless you see it injured or have other concerns. Call the local DWR office to come check out the situation.  

There are also a ton of reptiles that you can’t own in the state even with a permit. They are very picky about those in Utah.  

Hudson Valley Wildlife Gallery

The Hudson Valley is full of wildlife. Here are just a few of our furry, slithery, and feather friends that might frequent your backyard. Please reach out and let us know which creature we may have left off the list.

Gallery Credit: Paty Quyn

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