Pet Skunk Adoption
Are you interested in becoming a pet skunk owner? There are many things to consider before you bring a pet skunk into your home. First you must verify that domestic skunks are legal in your state. If they are legal in your state, you must then meet whatever requirements your state or county has regarding skunk ownership. More than half of the states in this country do not allow domestic skunks as pets. Of the states who do allow them, many require permits and have restrictions on whether the animal must come from breeders within the state or outside the state. Some states like Georgia, only allow colored skunks. Black and white, which is the most common coloring for a skunk is not allowed.|
Before getting your new pet, you must find a veterinarian who is experienced in the care of domestic skunks. This is not as easy as it sounds because many will not agree to treat a skunk. Skunks have died from routine illnesses or procedures due to the vet's inexperience in their care. Operations like spaying or neutering skunks have ended in death because the vet did not use the correct anesthesia. Bacterial infections that could easily be cleared up with an antibiotic also ending in death because the vet did not take a simple nose swab to determine the treatment. Many skunks have lost their lives because either the owner or vet adopted a wait and see attitude. If your skunk gets sick, it will need immediate medical attention from a vet trained in treating skunks, this can be expensive but is necessary.
Before taking your skunk to a vet, you must ask them what will happen if the skunk bites someone in their office. If a skunk bite is reported to the authorities, the skunk must be tested for rabies. It must be euthanized to do this as they use brain tissue. Do not allow anyone other than yourself to hold your skunk for the examination. Even the best behaved pet can be upset enough to bite while at a vet's office. You must never take chances with your skunk.
Domestic skunks can be expensive to buy and raise. Have you thoroughly researched the care of pet skunks? After the initial purchase of around $300 or more, you will have to have your skunk neutered or spayed within several months. This can be another $200 to $300 depending on the going rate where you live. Many vets will require your skunk be given both canine and feline vaccinations annually. It is common practice for veterinarians to charge extra for a basic examination of an exotic pet.
Diagnostic tests to verify the animal's health or determine illness can be costly too. Annual blood work is recommended to see if the skunk's diet is meeting the animal's nutritional requirements. Also x-rays to determine bone density should be done at minimum twice, before the skunk is one year old and at three years of age. Some skunks who have not had the benefit of these simple diagnostic tools, were later found to have bone problems that could have easily been prevented if discovered. It is much better for the skunk and less expensive for you to prevent health problems rather than try to correct them later.
Preparing a healthful diet for your skunk is another challenge for a new owner. Skunks must have their food prepared fresh, they will not lead long, healthy lives if forced to eat processed foods made for another species' nutritional requirements. You must provide high quality protein sources like chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, and nuts. A mixture of fresh, raw vegetables will provide needed fiber. Fat from both animal and plant sources for optimum health and energy. Feed your skunk raw foods if possible and try to feed a diet as close as possible to a wild skunk's diet, balance protein and fat intake. Include bugs, worms and pinkies as treats.
While skunks who eat a diet mimicking a wild skunk's diet probably will not need additional supplementation, if you are feeding cooked or processed foods, make sure you understand what supplements must be added. At the very least, calcium and taurine must be added to the diet, as they can only get these naturally from chewing raw bones and eating raw organ meats. Shortcuts in providing a healthy diet will be at the expense of your pet's health and may cause your vet bills to increase.
Consider the time requirements needed to properly socialize your new pet. Do you have a job that will leave little time to spend with your skunk? If so, be aware that skunks need to spend time with their owners and are more likely to bond with one person than with several people. As baby starts to grow into an adult skunk, you must be patient when he tests his limits, and consistent with the training he will need to become a good pet. Many people have found this can take most of your first year together.
If this sounds like a lot of time, effort and money will be needed to raise a skunk as a pet, you are absolutely correct. Please do not bring a skunk into your home if you can't or won't take take proper care of it.
If, after much research, you feel you would be a good skunk parent, consider adopting one of the many pet skunks in need of a home. These skunks need homes because there are too many people who did not take the time to see if a skunk was right for them before getting one. After finding out what responsible skunk ownership means, they want to get rid of the animal. These skunks can be wonderful additions to the right families. With patience and love, they will adjust to their new homes, becoming important members of the family before you know it.
Just Skunks® does not adopt or sell skunks but we do provide adoption forms below from skunk groups who have domestic skunks available for adoption. Other than forwarding the applications, we have no part of the adoption process.
Please be aware that you must satisfy the legal requirements of your state regarding pet skunk ownership before any animal is released for adoption. Each group has their own guidelines regarding the care of pet skunks and will make the decision whether the applicants meet these qualifications. Questions regarding your qualifications should be addressed to the person in charge of the organization that you submitted a form for, not Just Skunks®.
If you have a pet skunk and can no longer care for it, please contact us for more information about a skunk group near you who can assist in finding a good home for your skunk.
Pet Skunk Adoption Forms
The American Domestic Skunk Association, Inc.
Florida Skunk Rescue
Skunk Haven Rescue Shelter, Inc.