Ball Pythons in Clark County Washington

[This is an older post.  Northwest Reptiles is no longer located in the Vancouver area, so we haven’t kept abreast of any possible recent changes]

Clark County Washington categorizes Ball Pythons as a Wild Animal, requiring a special Wild Animal Permit. This permit is not required per animal, but can be obtained for $100 to cover multiple animals.

When receiving my permit, I also had to agree to a yearly SURPRISE inspection by animal control, which was very brief, and I recall the officer using the word “Impressed”.

The application for this is available at Clark County’s Animal Control web site, on this page: Clark County Pet Licensing

Just two years ago, when filling this application out, you had to agree NOT to breed. This requirement was removed in 2011.

A friend in Washougal, Washington, was visited by animal control, (due to a noisy dog) and was informed that while Washougal IS part of Clark County, the wild animal permit is not necessary there. I would personally look anyway, if I were under this jurisdiction.

There are also laws regarding transportation of animals across county and state lines, that might need to be investigated.

I do not offer legal advice, I am just sharing the laws as I understand them.

Ball Pythons in Clark County Washington was last modified: January 30th, 2020 by Tom
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3 Responses to Ball Pythons in Clark County Washington

  1. Thomas says:

    A couple of added notes. About a year ago, I looked into moving my animals into the Vancouver city limits, and was informed by Animal Control that “Wild Animals” are now banned within the city limits. The reason they fall under this, is because there is an off chance that some specimens COULD reach 6 feet, therefore the species is considered a “wild animal”.

    After a meeting with a head zoning officer, who has worked multiple reptile cases, I was then told that the Ball Python, would not meet the conditions of a “wild animal” unless the individual animal was 6 feet or longer, but they would still meet the description of an “Exotic Animal”, which still requires the license, but is not banned.

    Mixed messages! I think I will avoid city limits.

  2. Bryan Hayden says:

    As defined by the county

    “Wild animal” means any animal, except livestock and domesticated animals, which due to its size, habits, natural propensities, training or instinct presents a danger or potential danger to human beings, animals or property.

    It seems really vague to write something up like that. with that being said a ball python is covered by that because it could be dangerous to an animal (ie. cat or small dog maybe a pet rat)? can you give any more info from what the inspector told you as far as equipment to capture if an animal escaped? or “safety” procedures?

  3. Living in Washougal, I have learned that you do not need a permit if you are INSIDE Washougal City limits. Outside of the city limits is where County takes over and you will probably need a permit there. Washougal has made many changes to their animal control laws and over the years the snakes have kind of fallen to the wayside and were left out of the laws.

    I do think it is always a good idea to double check but this is what the animal control officer told me.

    They first discovered I had snakes when I had a house fire and the responding fire department was a bit shocked to see a room full of snakes. They promptly called animal control to ask if I was allowed to have the snakes, they even took pictures!

    Animal control told me he thought that my set up was “cool” and when I asked him about permits he simply stated that I did not need any in the city as long as I wasn’t keeping venomous reptiles.

    Just thought I would let you know what I found out.

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