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

Skunks all have the distinct musk glands adjacent to the rectum.  The oily liquid can be spritzed via posterior nipple like features that can spray pungent liquid very accurately a far as 15 feet. While each skunk species has it's own 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, there are some really unique laws in Texas regarding skunks.

First of all, it is legal to kill skunks anywhere during anytime of the year in Texas. The only restriction is that skunks cannot be killed with a firearm for any reason on school campuses or in churches. Let's just hope if a skunk enters your church, God will intervene, 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 dead, 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. If you plan on bringing a skunk into Texas, you must have a permit. The permit must accompany the skunk in transit, as well as 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 need a letter from the Wildlife Division to export a skunk from Texas also. The exporter must also submit proof that he or she has complied with the laws in the destination state.


When it comes to keeping a skunk as a pet, in Texas not only is it illegal, but 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 possibly land you in jail. If you're skunk sprayed you before your arrest, at least you can rest assured that for awhile 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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