Bellevue, WA asked in Animal / Dog Law for Washington

Q: Can I own an opossum as a pet?

I know I'm not allowed to have 'wild' pets or release a wild opossum except for where it was trapped, but if I were to obtain a domesticated opossum (ie: one bred and raised in captivity by a breeder), would I be allowed to keep it? Would there be regulations for obtaining a domesticated opossum from out of state vs. in state ones?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten
  • Animal & Dog Law Lawyer
  • Denver, CO

A: Generally, most municipalities prohibit the ownership of wild animals regardless of whether it was allegedly bred for domestic use or not. So you should check your local rules because if you’re caught, the opossum will be taken from you and released into the wild, which could be cruel if it’s used to living indoors. Opossums aren’t really meant to be indoor pets, anyway, so I would caution against supporting an industry that domesticates wild animals.

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