On December 11th, a Uintah County 5-year-old-boy was “significantly” scratched by the family’s pet racoon. The incident led to the boy requiring emergency surgery. In light of this recent event, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources and TriCounty Health Department have issued a press release concerning the legalities, and dangers, of keeping a wild animal as a pet. While raccoons, striped skunks, coyotes, and red foxes are not protected under Utah state law, individuals need a permit issued by the Utah Department of Agricultureo to house a wild animal in captivity. Un-permitted animals may be seized immediately and a citation can be written for illegally possessing these animals, which is a Class B misdemeanor. “It’s important to protect the health, welfare and safety of the public, as well as other terrestrial wildlife,” shares Tonya Kieffer-Selby, DWR Outreach Manager. “We do not want the public to avoid supporting wildlife, but we do want people to do it legally and safely.”