When it comes to unconventional pets, skunks might not be the first choice for most people, but there's a surprising number of people who like having skunks companions. However, the legality of this practice raises questions, especially in a state like Idaho.

Do skunks really make suitable pets? And is it lawful to keep them in Idaho? Let's take a look!

According to PBS, “It is currently legal to own domesticated skunks in only 17 states: Alabama, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.”

Photo by Elisa Stone on Unsplash
Photo by Elisa Stone on Unsplash

We don’t see Idaho on that list.

According to the Idaho Fish & Game, “No. In Idaho, it is not legal for private citizens to own, possess, buy, sell, trade or barter skunks. See Idaho code section - 25-236.”

So, it seems pretty clear that the answer is no. However, there’s apparently some controversy over this topic because there’s a difference between wild skunks and domesticated skunks.

Advocates for domestic skunk ownership argue that these animals, bred in captivity for generations, exhibit gentle and affectionate behaviors. However, critics point out that domesticating skunks involves de-scenting them at a young age, a procedure with ethical implications.

According to PBS, “The most notable difference between wild and domestic skunks is the lack of scent glands. Domesticated skunks are de-scented when they are between two and five weeks of age and grow up “unarmed.” While a relatively simple procedure, there is some debate as to whether or not de-scenting skunks is humane. Some argue that a de-scented skunk has unfairly been stripped of its natural defenses.”

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