While powerful stinkers, skunks also are adorable critters. Exotic pet breeders often tout pet skunks --- sans their stink glands --- to make wonderful pets. As exotic pets, however, pet skunks are not allowed everywhere. If you live in Wisconsin and would like to keep a skunk as a pet, it's important to know what the law says about their ownership.
Anyone who wants to buy, own, propagate or sell skunks in the state must have a specialty license. There are various licenses that will allow you to own a pet skunk, depending on your individual circumstances and what you plan to do with the skunk.
There are two captive, wild animal farm licenses: the Class A license and the Class B license. The difference in the classes has to do with how much money the farm makes. You also may get a nonprofit, educational exhibitors license or a nonresident, temporary exhibitors license. The first is for people who are members of nonprofit groups and use the skunks for educational purposes, such as teaching children in schools about wildlife; the second is for people who plan to exhibit skunks only for a short amount of time, such as at a one-time wilderness presentation or fair.
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People who are legal residents of a state where it's legal to own pet skunks may bring their pet skunks with them to Wisconsin, but the skunk may be possessed in the state for no more than 60 days. Additionally, the nonresident must have a veterinarian file a copy of a certificate of veterinary inspection for the skunk with the state's department of agriculture. Additionally, the person must hold a license, if a license is required, from his state of legal residency, to own the skunk.
Those who are allowed under the regulations described to keep a pet skunk must follow other rules, including not descenting a skunk (this does not apply to people with a captive, wild animal farm license). Additionally, skunks must be kept in cages that meet the state's pen and humane care and treatment requirements.
Cynthia Gomez has been writing and editing professionally for more than a decade. She is currently an editor at a major publishing company, where she works on various trade journals. Gomez also spent many years working as a newspaper reporter. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Northeastern University.