Are hedgehogs legal in my state?

 

Hedgehogs are now legal in all of New England!


 Canonical IS Sprint at etc.venues, London, England, UK - 15th - 19th August 2011 [cc by-sa 2011 Sean Sosik-Hamor]
 

Staying legal

Before adding a hedgie to your family, it’s important to be sure that they are legal in your city, state, and county. Laws are continually changing so it’s best to contact your state Fish and Game Commission or Department of Fish and Wildlife and check your local regulations.

Breeders do their best to stay on top of all the restrictions placed on hedgehogs but please realize that information may go out of date from time to time.

Please note that this list only pertains to the legality of the African Pygmy hedgehog in the United States. If you have news or updates to improve the accuracy of this list, please contact us with a source!

The short answer

Hedgehogs are legal in all of New England and most of the United States. Unfortunately, hedgehogs are still illegal or restricted in:

Hedgehogs may require a permit and/or certificate of veterinary inspection in:


Recently legalized or unrestricted

The long answer

Hedgehogs are usually considered an exotic animal and may be classified invasive or dangerous in some areas. Many times this is due to local lawmakers misclassifying hedgehogs as the wrong species or simply not understanding what a hedgehog is.

Please be aware that misclassification is not a magical loophole and legal possession of a hedgehog is ultimately decided and enforced by local law enforcement. This may be a city or town police department, county sheriff's office, state department of fish and wildlife, or the US Fish and Wildlife Service.


ARIZONA

Unrestricted: 05-Dec-2015
Updated: Mon 08-Apr-2019

Per Arizona Game and Fish Department:

The Arizona Game and Fish Department, as part of its regular five-year review rulemaking process, has updated its Article 4 (Live Wildlife) rules. The new provisions will be effective Dec. 5, 2015.

The updated rules were recently approved by the Governor’s Regulatory Review Council.

The new provisions include some notable changes including:

• Removal of hedgehogs from the restricted live wildlife list to allow them as pets.
• Expansion of the restricted primate species that can be possessed by private individuals without a special license, to include all non-human primates in an effort to protect public health and safety.
• Prohibiting a person from allowing native desert tortoises to reproduce in captivity in an effort to reduce the number of unwanted captive desert tortoises.
• Improved consistency between federal and state rules, for example listing all birds under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act as restricted live wildlife.
• Inclusion of red shiner, certain species of tilapia, paddlefish, sturgeon, Chinese mystery snail, and false dark mussel as restricted live wildlife as all are non-native to Arizona and pose significant threat to native species.
• Clarification of definitions and language, consolidation of some rules, and updating of references.


CALIFORNIA

Illegal/Restricted
Updated: Sun 07-Apr-2019

Per the California Department of Fish and Wildlife:

There are at least 17 known species of hedgehogs. All species are restricted from possession as pets in California primarily because they can become pests where introduced into the wild where they don’t naturally occur. There are also many unknown questions related to natural predators and potential diseases when any non-native animal is introduced into the wild. If personal ownership were possible for hedgehog species, it's likely that there would be similar requests for many other non-native species, putting California’s rich wildlife diversity at risk.


GEORGIA

Illegal/Restricted
Updated: Mon 08-Apr-2019

Per Georgia Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Division:

The animals listed below are examples of the exotic species regulated under Georgia Law. The exotic species listed below, except where otherwise noted, may not be held as pets in Georgia. This list is not all inclusive.

• Insectivores (shrews, moles, hedgehogs, tenrecs, etc.); all species

We at Hamor Hollow are erring on the side of caution by listing hedgehogs as Illegal/Restricted in Georgia. In our opinion, hedgehogs still being listed on Georgia’s Wild Animals/Exotics list outweighs the current effort to legalize them through 2013 House Bill 780, 2015 House Bill 273, 2015 Senate Bill 180, and 2017 Senate Bill 21.

We applaud the legalization effort in Georgia and hope to see them fully-legalized soon!


HAWAII

Illegal/Restricted
Updated: Mon 08-Apr-2019

Per State of Hawaii Plant Industry Division:

IMPORTING NON-DOMESTICATED ANIMALS

Some non-domesticated animals are allowed to be imported to Hawaii.  These are listed on the List of Conditional Approved Animals.

Any animal that is not found on any of the lists is considered prohibited.

Neither the domesticated African Pygmy hedgehog (Atelerix albiventris) nor any other species of hedgehog appears on Hawaii’s approved list outlined in List of Conditional Approved Animals §4-71-6.5.


MAINE

Unrestricted: 11-May-2017
Updated: Mon 08-Apr-2019

Per Maine Senate Republicans:

Hedgehog Licensing Issue Resolved Without Legislation

AUGUSTA – After receiving word that the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife added hedgehogs to the unrestricted animal list, the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee voted Ought Not to Pass on Senator Eric Brakey’s (R-Androscoggin) bill, LD 35.

The idea for LD 35 was brought to Sen. Brakey by a 6th grader from Elm Street Elementary School in Mechanic Falls who wanted the ability to have a hedgehog as a pet without having to jump through hoops and obtain multiple licenses, as you can in every other New England state.

Now that hedgehogs have been added to the unrestricted animal list, licenses are no longer required for ownership.

“I’m really glad this issue could be resolved for these students without the need for further legislation,” said Sen. Brakey. “This whole experience has been a great learning opportunity for the entire Elm Street Elementary School’s 6th grade class. They were involved in the process from the very beginning, traveling to Augusta back in February for the day to testify at the public hearing for LD 35. I have since been in touch with the class to let them know that because of their initiative, we were able to make positive changes in Augusta.”


NEW JERSEY

Updated: Mon 08-Apr-2019

Many breeders and Wikipedia list hedgehogs as requiring a permit in New Jersey but do not cite a source. We at Hamor Hollow are still researching this location.


PENNSYLVANIA

Illegal/Restricted: 23-May-2018
Updated: Mon 08-Apr-2019

Per Pennsylvania House of Representatives:

In the near future, I will introduce legislation which would allow for the ownership or possession of certain “pocket pets,” namely hedgehogs and sugar gliders, to be kept as pets in Pennsylvania.

Currently in Pennsylvania, hedgehogs and gliders are not listed as exempt exotic animals in statute and may therefore be banned by the Game Commission under their legal authority. The reasoning for such a disallowance by the Commission is that they’re not native to Pennsylvania and could compete for food or cover if they were to be released or escape into the wild. Be that as it may, almost every other state in the nation allows these harmless tiny creatures to be kept as pets similar to a gerbil, hamster, etc. I believe that it is time to end this unnecessary prohibition.

Introduced as House Bill 1273.

House Bill 1273 was defeated per Pennsylvania General Assembly:

An Act amending Title 34 (Game) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in permits relating to wildlife, further providing for definitions. Third consideration and defeated on final passage, May 23, 2018 (71-120)

We at Hamor Hollow are erring on the side of caution by listing hedgehogs as Illegal/Restricted in Pennsylvania. In our opinion the defeat of House Bill 1273 outweighs any previously-debated grandfathered possession loopholes relating to the amendment of § 137.1 in 1992.

Per The Pennsylvania Code:

§ 137.1. Importation, possession, sale and release of certain wildlife.

(a) Unless otherwise provided in this section or the act, it is unlawful for a person to import, possess, sell, offer for sale or release within this Commonwealth the following wild animals or wild birds or the eggs of the birds or a crossbreed or hybrid of the wild animals or wild birds, which are similar in appearance:

(11) Game or wild held captive. Game or wildlife held in captivity or captive bred in another state or nation.

20 Pa.B. 4488; amended May 29, 1992, effective July 1, 1992


THE FIVE BOROUGHS OF NEW YORK CITY

Illegal/Restricted
Updated: Sun 07-Apr-2019

Per The Official Website of the City of New York:

You can make reports of people selling or keeping wild or illegal animals. Violations are issued when appropriate. By law, wild or illegal animals may not be sold or kept as pets.

The following animals may not be kept as pets:

• Gophers, woodchucks, beavers, hedgehogs, porcupines, and other large rodents


WASHINGTON, DC (FAIRFAX COUNTY, VIRGINIA)

Legalized: Tue 22-Jan-2019
Updated: Mon 08-Apr-2019

Per Fairfax County NewsCenter:

Until yesterday, it was a crime to be prickly but loveable — if you were a hedgehog, that is.

These spiny animals were banned as pets in Fairfax County until Tuesday, Jan. 22, when the Board of Supervisors legalized hedgehogs as pets, as well as lifted the need for zoning permissions to keep chinchillas and hermit crabs.

The board added these three animals to the list of commonly accepted pets in the county’s zoning rules. This means they can be kept as household pets without any special permissions.

Previously, hedgehogs were prohibited while chinchillas and hermit crabs required a special permit from the Board of Zoning Appeals.

The county made the change because hedgehogs have become popular, and zoning officials said they have received an increasing number of inquiries about whether it was allowable to keep them as pets.

Fairfax joins Arlington and Loudoun counties as jurisdictions in Northern Virginia that permit hedgehogs.


WISCONSIN

Requires certificate of veterinary inspection (CVI)
Updated: Mon 08-Apr-2019

Per State of Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection:

A "household pet" is an animal from a traditional companion animal species: dog, domestic cat, ferret, hedgehog, pet bird, rabbit, or domestic rodent (gerbil, guinea pig, hamster, or domestic mouse or rat). All other animals kept as pets, including dog hybrids, domestic cat hybrids, and exotic small cat species such as servals, are either considered livestock or exotic pets.

"Importing" refers to animals being brought into Wisconsin during vacation travel as well as animals relocating permanently into the state.

Required:

Certificate of veterinary inspection (CVI) with complete physical destination address - we no longer accept the computer-generated APHIS 7001 form which has no preprinted CVI number (the older multi-copy forms with printed numbers are still accepted).


WYOMING

Unrestricted
Updated: Mon 08-Apr-2019

Many breeders and Wikipedia list hedgehogs as requiring a permit in Wyoming but do not cite a source.

Per Wyoming Game and Fish Department hedgehogs do not require a permit!

 

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