Pet Foxes are Currently Legal in 16 States

As of January 2023, only sixteen American States allow the ownership of pet foxes. In some of these states, pet lovers need to obtain a permit or license in order to own a pet fox. Furthermore, not all species of foxes are allowed as pets in some of these states.

A Fennec fox vs a Red fox

The 16 States Where Pet Foxes are Legal in 2023

  • Arkansas
  • Florida
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky
  • Michigan
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Utah
  • Wyoming

1. Arkansas

Arkansas pet lovers are allowed to keep all fox species as a pet without a permit. However, the Bear State has some restrictions on imported foxes. While it is legal to catch a wild fox and keep it as a pet in Arkansas, pet lovers are not permitted to keep Red and gray imported foxes as pets in the state. Furthermore, All foxes kept as pets in Arkansas must be in cages that keep them from escaping and may not be sold or transferred to a different owner.

2. Florida

All fox species are legal to keep as pets in the state of Florida. However, you need to obtain a Class III permit first. Wild animals are divided into three categories called Class I, Class II, and Class III in Florida. Animals that fall under the Class III category are not considered to pose a real or potential danger to human safety. Foxes fall under the Class III category.

3. Indiana

Indiana allows Gray foxes and Red foxes to be kept as pets with a permit. Indiana animal lovers need a Class II Wild Animal Possession Permit to own a pet Red fox or Gray fox. The application fee for the permit is $20.

4. Kentucky

Pet foxes are technically legal in the state of Kentucky. But unfortunately, there are no fox breeders in the Bluegrass State, which means they have to be imported. If you plan to import an exotic animal into Kentucky from another state, you must obtain a wildlife Transportation Permit to do so.

5. Michigan

In the state of Michigan, private individuals can keep wild-colored Red Foxes as pets with a permit.  The red, silver, and cross colors are considered wild. Other colors and species of foxes do not require a permit to be kept as pets in Michigan.

6. Missouri

The state of Missouri allows Gray and Red foxes to be kept as pets with a permit. Pet foxes in Missouri state must be maintained outside with an enclosure.

7. Nebraska

It is legal to keep Red and Gray foxes as pets in the state of Nebraska. The foxes must be bred and Nebraska pet lovers must obtain a Captive Wildlife Permit before owning a pet gray or red fox.

8. New York

New York State allows the ownership of Pet Fennec foxes. However, it is illegal to keep a Fennec fox as a pet in New York City because exotic animals are not allowed as pets in The Big Apple.

9. North Carolina

Foxes are legal to keep as pets in North Carolina so long as they are not used for private entertainment. North Carolina pet lovers do not need a permit to own exotic foxes with veterinary certificates.

10. North Dakota

It is legal to keep foxes as pets in the state of North Dakota. All you need to do is obtain a non-traditional livestock permit and you are good to go.

11. Ohio

Ohio animal lovers need to obtain a $25 noncommercial propagating license in order to keep foxes as pets. But according to WKYC, many fox owners in Ohio are increasingly surrendering and turning over their pet foxes to rescues because they are destructive to own and don't make great pets.

12. Oklahoma

It is legal to keep foxes as pets in the state of Oklahoma. The Sooner State allows all species of foxes except fennec foxes. A non-commercial breeder’s license is required to own a pet fox in Oklahoma.

13. South Dakota

The state of South Dakota allows the ownership of pet foxes. South Dakota residents must obtain a possession permit in order to own a pet fox. However, pet lovers need to obtain a no-cost entry permit if they are importing a fox from another state.

14. Tennessee

You can legally keep a red fox and gray fox as pets in the state of Tennessee with a permit. The foxes must be captive-bred and must be purchased from a USDA-licensed breeder. A Class II Wildlife Possession Permit is required to keep a red or gray fox as a pet in Tennessee.

15. Utah

Only Red foxes are legal to keep as pets without a permit in Utah. All other species of foxes are prohibited in the Beehive State.

16. Wyoming

You can keep a Red fox as a pet without a permit in the state of Wyoming. However, the red fox cannot be imported into the state. All exotic foxes are illegal to own or import into Wyoming because they present a threat to the state’s native foxes.


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