5 Animals That Can Not Be Pets in Washington State
There is a huge list of animals that are illegal to have as pets in Washington State, but only 5 are illegal because they can give you rabies!
Rabies Law in Washington State
Washington State passed what is called the Rabies Law (WAC 246-100-197) to help prevent humans from getting rabies.
The law defines exactly what species are illegal and why. It also very carefully defines all phrases used in the law and actions that need to be taken if an animal or a person is found with rabies.
There are 5 animals that are banned to own pets in Washington State because of the risk they pose in possibly spreading rabies to humans.
The law also bans the “selling, bartering, exchanging, giving, purchasing, distributing, or trapping to retain” any of the 5 animals.
Can Anyone Own These 5 Banned Animals?
According to Washington State law, no person can own these 5 animals except a “zoological park, animal exhibitor, or research facility under an entry permit issued by the director of the department of agriculture in consultation with the secretary of the department.” If a person is caught with one of these 5 animals in their possession, what can happen to them?
Fines and Consequences for Owning Banned Rabies Law Animals
The Washington State law lays out the consequences for people that get caught with these animals in their possession or one of the banned activities listed above.
The civil penalty is “not less than two hundred dollars and not more than two thousand dollars for each animal with respect to which there is a violation and for each day the violation continues.”
Now that you know the fines, do you want to know the 5 animals that can cost you big bucks in fines in Washington State?
5 Animals You Can’t Own in Washington State for Rabies Risk
According to the CDC, bats are the leading cause of rabies deaths in the United States. You can get rabies from even small and insignificant scratches or bites.
The CDC recommends that “Rabies postexposure prophylaxis (or PEP, which includes vaccination) is recommended for any person with a bite or scratch from a bat unless the bat is available for testing and tests negative for rabies.”
You can not get rabies from the blood, urine, feces, petting the fur of a contaminated skunk, or by the spray. You can get infected with rabies from a skunk if you are bitten or scratched by one that is rabid.
Skunks are the 4th most likely animal to be found with rabies in the United States according to the CDC.
Because humans have very limited contact with these timid animals, statistically they are not a high risk for catching rabies in the wild according to ForFoxSake WildLife. They are very susceptible however if you are trying to keep one as a pet.
If you see a coyote that looks sick or aggressive, just keep your distance and call your local animal control.
The raccoon is the most common carrier of rabies in Canada. Besides being scratched or bitten by an animal infected with rabies, you can also get infected by exposure to the saliva of a dead infected animal. That goes for all animals on this list, not just raccoons.
Some signs you might notice if a raccoon or any animal has rabies might be staggering gait, erratic wandering, discharge from eyes or mouth, wet or matted hair on the face. high-pitch vocalizations, or self-mutilation, or chewing on itself.
The fox is the 5th most likely animal in the wild statistically according to the CDC to spread rabies.
Yes, they look cute, but they are wild animals and should be given space. If you see any of these animals ( fox, coyote, skunk, raccoon, or bat) there is no need to be afraid. Just give them space and if they look sick, call your local animal control officer. If you think you have been exposed to rabies, call your health professional immediately.
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