Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

Rule Rule 635-044-0470
Grandfathering the Possession of Black Bear, Cougar, Bobcat, Wolf, Raccoon, Skunk, Squirrel, Chipmunk and Other Non-game Wildlife Species Legally Held as Pets


(1) Grandfathered wildlife may be held as pets, or for exhibitor, educational, or animal entertainment industry or sanctuary purposes, or in AZA accredited facilities as defined in these rules.
(2) A person who legally held native wildlife (black bear, cougar, bobcat, wolf, raccoon, skunk, squirrel, chipmunk) or other nongame species in Oregon prior to and on January 20, 2017 may continue to hold those animal(s) for the remainder of the animal(s) life provided:
(a) The holder submits an application for an annual Wildlife Holding, Exhibitor/Animal Entertainment Industry or Sanctuary Permit by January 21, 2018. Included with the application, the person must:
(A) Remit to the Department a fee of $29.00 per species held for a Wildlife Holding permit or $105.00 for a Wildlife Exhibitor/Animal Entertainment Industry or Sanctuary Permit for the permit or permit renewal; and
(B) Demonstrate to the Department that the person’s black bear, cougar, bobcat, wolf, raccoon and skunk holding facility complies with any applicable city or county ordinances and any applicable federal laws.
(C) Permit conditions may include, but are not limited to, facility design standards and actions to protect native wildlife and human safety.
(D) Permit renewal must occur before the expiration date printed on the permit issued by the Department
(b) Grandfathered animals are held in Department approved facilities meeting standards defined in the Oregon Enclosure and Caging Standards for Holding Wildlife (Exhibit 1). The facilities housing legally acquired grandfathered black bears, cougars, bobcats, wolves, raccoons, skunks, squirrels, chipmunks, and other legally held non-game species, must meet the minimum facility standards defined herein in Exhibit 1 by January 21, 2018.
(c) Grandfathered bears, cougars, bobcats, wolves, raccoons, skunks, squirrels, and chipmunks must have been acquired from a legally propagated out-of-state source or legally acquired with approved documentation that may include a valid sales receipt, Certificate of Veterinary Inspection with import permit from Oregon Department of Agriculture, valid agency transfer of ownership permit identifying the animal was propagated and born in legal captivity, or as approved by the Department. All permit holders of grandfathered animals shall provide to the Department a signed and notarized affidavit stating how the grandfathered animal(s) were legally acquired.
(d) Grandfathered wildlife held as pets may not be bred. Two or more held grandfathered black bears, cougars, bobcats, wolves, raccoons, skunks, squirrels, chipmunks, or other grandfathered wildlife of the same species of different sexes, requires sterilization of either sex for animals older than 6 months of age, within 30 days of rule adoption. Written documentation of the completed procedure by a licensed veterinarian is required. Avoidance of reproduction of nongame wildlife of different sexes can be accomplished by separation of the sexes, disposal of eggs, veterinary sterilization, etc., and is the responsibility of the wildlife holding permittee.
(3) The only person(s) who may hold pure-bred wolves in captivity are those who, as of December 31, 2009, held a gray wolf or wolves in captivity in Oregon under previous Oregon Department of Agriculture, Class I Exotic Canine, Exotic Animal Division 603 Rules or held a valid license or registration from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, under the federal Animal Welfare Act of 1970. These persons must also obtain authority under the requirements of 635-044-0460 (Holding of Live Black Bear (Ursus americanus), Cougar (Puma concolor), Bobcat (Lynx rufus), Wolf (Canis lupus), Raccoon (Procyon lotor) and Skunk (Mephitis spp.))(7) [Gray Wolves in Captivity] of this rule.
(a) Beyond the persons described in paragraph (2), the Department will not issue any new permits to hold a pure-bred wolf in captivity except as defined in OAR 635-044-0460 (Holding of Live Black Bear (Ursus americanus), Cougar (Puma concolor), Bobcat (Lynx rufus), Wolf (Canis lupus), Raccoon (Procyon lotor) and Skunk (Mephitis spp.)) (7) (a).
(b) Wolves legally held under the provisions of paragraph (2) may only be transferred to an AZA accredited facility unless specifically approved by the Department.
(4) Grandfathered black bears, cougars, and bobcats may only be transferred from the original Wildlife Holding Permit to an AZA accredited facility or an approved Wildlife Exhibitor/Animal Entertainment Industry or Sanctuary facility, or as approved by the Department. Raccoons and skunks may not be offered for sale, trade, barter, or exchange as a household pet (ORS 498.029 (Purchase, sale or exchange of fox, skunk or raccoon prohibited)).
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Last accessed
Jun. 8, 2021