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John Legal
John Legal, Attorney
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Experience:  Over 15 years legal experience.
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Am I able to legally keep a 10 foot reticulated python in Seattle?

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Am I able to legally keep a 10 foot reticulated python in Seattle? If no, is there a way to be able to keep my snake?
Welcome! Thank you for your question.

I am a legal expert on the site. Your question has been moved from a vet question to a legal question. The regulation on "dangerous wild animals" are initially regulated under Washington State statute 16-30. Here is a link to the definition section. I do note that it does not define a reticulated python as a dangerous animal. If you look under (i) Order squamata, the family that a python is located "Pythonidae" is not included as a Wild Animal.

Furthermore, the city of Seattle does not have a code that prevents the keeping of a python. In fact the city code specifically allows for the keeping of small animals URL REMOVED?d=CODE&s1=23.42.052.snum.&Sect5=CODE1&Sect6=HITOFF&l=20&p=1&u=/~public/code1.htm&r=1&f=G

Since the python is not considered a wild animal under Washington State Code and not prevented under Seattle City Code you can keep your python.

I cannot provide you with legal advise. I have provided you with information about the law related to your question. My answer, and any information that you find online, should not take the place of having a consultation with a lawyer in your area to advise you regarding your specific issues.

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Thank you,


Customer: replied 3 years ago.



My specific question was about the length of the snake. From what I can see they have banned or made illegal snakes over 8 feet. I need to know how to keep my 10+ foot reticulated python, or if a permit or other licenses would enable me to keep him.

With your clarification I did find a Seattle code section that states that only certain groups can keep what is defined as "exotic animal" under the Code. Here is the definition section: URL REMOVED?d=CODE&s1=9.25.020.snum.&Sect5=CODE1&Sect6=HITOFF&l=20&p=1&u=/~public/code1.htm&r=1&f=G

Here is the exotic animal code section: URL REMOVED?d=CODE&s1=9.25.053.snum.&Sect5=CODE1&Sect6=HITOFF&l=20&p=1&u=/~public/code1.htm&r=1&f=G

I unfortunately do not see any wiggle room so that you could even qualify for a permit under the section since permits are only granted to entities like zoos and government agencies.

If they are trying to take your python away or cite you for a violation you could try and argue that your rights as a citizen of Washington state are being violated because the city code is more restrictive than the state code. Since the state does not ban the python the city should be prevented from banning the animal as well. This is a very difficult argument and if you try and fight this in court you could find this costing tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
John Legal, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4631
Experience: Over 15 years legal experience.
John Legal and 8 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank You John.


No they are not trying to take him, I wonder what they would do?


Do you know?


Can you resend the links, I could not get them to open.

Looks like they could just take the animal if they had a complaint.

Here are the Seattle code links for you to use. You will need to copy and paste in your browser because it is doing something with the URL when I turn it into a link. URL REMOVED?d=CODE&s1=9.25.053.snum.&Sect5=CODE1&Sect6=HITOFF&l=20&p=1&u=/~public/code1.htm&r=1&f=G URL REMOVED?d=CODE&s1=9.25.020.snum.&Sect5=CODE1&Sect6=HITOFF&l=20&p=1&u=/~public/code1.htm&r=1&f=G
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The links are cutting off I think, it is still not working.


[email protected] if you can e mail me. I sent you a bonus and I thank you. I guess I should keep him hidden:( frustrating situation.

I am not sure what is going on with the links. I unfortunately cannot email you because the site prohibits it and they hide your email in your post.


I am sending this thread to technical support for the site for help.


Thank you so much for your patience.



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