Some people go for it. They live out their wild animal dreams and befriend the exotic animal kingdom. Sadly, the fantasy rarely plays out according to plan and unlikely friends quickly turn into unlikely criminals.
Here are five pets that are (unfortunately) illegal to own in most states, with some exceptions:
Groundhogs. In most states, groundhogs are still considered wild animals, meaning you can't just strap on a collar and claim it as your new pet. How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? Answer: Who cares, you can't keep it as a pet.
Deer. You must be able to keep a Bambi, right? Well, unless you're the crazed couple that went hardcore vigilante on local officials (translation: unless you shamelessly take it to the press), you might not be able to keep a Lilly the Doe of your own. The reason? A fawn is cute, but a Lyme disease epidemic is not.
Gerbils. How can it be illegal to own something so little and round! But alas, in states like California, they're utterly illegal. If you're spinning your (rodent) wheels to figure out a good pet proxy: domesticated hamsters, rats, mice, guinea pigs, rabbits. You're welcome. Unless your state law prohibits those, too. In that case: Sorry.
Bonus: Raccoons! Everyone loves those little bandits -- especially the man who decided to run for governor to get his pet 'coon back after it was seized by Tennessee wildlife agents. Raccoons are related to bears and therefore related to bear cubs, the holy grail of adorable pet fantasies. Many people incorrectly assume they can keep raccoons as pets, but alas many states forbid it. It's not because lawmakers hate your dreams, it's because they hate rabies.
We realize this list may come as a complete buzzkill for all of the animal lovers out there. But here's some solace: You might be able to keep a Wilbur of your own.