BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Do you know what animals are legal to keep as pets in Louisiana? If you’re branching out from dogs, cats, rabbits and normal pet store options, there are limits to what you can bring home.
Neuty, a domesticated nutria, was allowed to stay with its owners despite the fact the state regulates it as a wildlife species that is illegal to own as a pet.
Edward Pratt, press secretary for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, said that the goal of the regulations is to prevent the introduction of invasive wildlife species.
“As a generalization, wildlife species in North America cannot be kept as pets,” Pratt said.
In Louisiana, it’s illegal to possess purebred wolves, bears, lions, tigers, big exotic cats or any wildlife in North America. Pratt said there are several exceptions such as venomous snakes.
“Certain venomous snakes can be kept with permits. Turtles can be kept with possession of a fishing license or dealer license,” Pratt said.
Alligators, squirrels, skunks, raccoons and monkeys are considered exotic animals in East Baton Rouge Parish and cannot be kept as pets. Temporary permits can be administered to residents in the parish by The Animal Control and Rescue Center to care for injured or infant wild or exotic animals.
Adam Eink with LDWF says that the penalty for a non-game animal is a fine that can go up to $500.
Neuty’s owners were granted a special permit to keep possession of him as long as he is kept in a secured enclosure that is LDWF approved, fully accepts responsibility for any injury or accident he causes and follows existing LDWF policies that are in place.