It is a recognized fact that Texas has more skunk species than any other state. Five species of skunks call Texas home. They include the most common, the striped skunk, the hooded skunk, the hog-nosed skunk, the eastern spotted skunk, and the western spotted skunk.

Skunks all have distinct musk glands adjacent to the rectum. The oily liquid can be spritzed via posterior nipple-like features that can accurately spray the pungent liquid as far as 15 feet. While each skunk species has its scent profile, compounds called thiols create the choking smell that keeps all predators at bay. Well, almost all. Owls can't smell, so the joke is on the skunk.

With all this in mind, Texas has some unique laws regarding skunks.

First, it is legal to kill skunks anywhere in Texas at any time of the year. The only restriction is that skunks cannot be killed with a firearm for any reason on school campuses or in churches. Let's hope God will intervene if a skunk enters your church, as I'm sure he will be called upon.

The sad part about this is that killing a skunk so you don't get sprayed is like jumping into a lake so you don't get wet. Anyone who has driven past a dead skunk on the road knows just because the skunk is over doesn't mean he doesn't stink.

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If you exhibit a skunk for a fee or without compensation, you must have a USDA license and a Texas Wildlife permit. You must have a commission to bring a skunk into Texas. The receipt must accompany the skunk in transit and a health certificate signed by a veterinarian in the state the animal is coming from. You must also have a letter of authorization from the Texas Department of Health.

You will also need a letter from the Wildlife Division to export a skunk from Texas. The exporter must also submit proof that they have complied with the laws in the destination state.


When it comes to keeping a skunk as a pet, in Texas, it is illegal, and the state has the right to KILL your skunk if you get caught. Disguising your skunk as a pet cat won't work. It didn't even work for Pepé Le Pew, and he's a cartoon.

This also means penalties for a vet who treats your pet skunk. Don't even think of sneaking your pet skunk across state lines for treatment. We have already established that sneaking your pet skunk across state lines is subject to penalties.

The only exceptions are permits for skunks as educational or zoological but require all the federal and state permits.

Skunks can be beautiful animals. Their fur is plush and exquisite. Just like every rose has a thorn, every skunk has a stink. As a result, most people don't hang around long enough to realize their natural beauty. Trying to own a skunk could land you in jail. If you're skunk sprayed before your arrest, at least you can rest assured that for a while, at least, your fellow inmates will stay far away.

LOOK: Here are the pets banned in each state

Because the regulation of exotic animals is left to states, some organizations, including The Humane Society of the United States, advocate for federal, standardized legislation that would ban owning large cats, bears, primates, and large poisonous snakes as pets.

Read on to see which pets are banned in your home state, as well as across the nation.

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