Pet Hedgehog Legal States
The hedgehog rules in the United States are strict, and it is possible to lose your hedgehog if you do not comply with state requirements. However, most states do allow them. Here is the list of states that allow hedgehogs as pets:
-Alabama -Arizona -Colorado -Delaware -Florida -Illinois -Iowa -Kentucky -Maine -Massachusetts -Minnesota -Missouri -Nebraska -New Hampshire -New Mexico -North Dakota -Oklahoma -Rhode Island -South Dakota -Texas -Vermont -Washington -Wisconsin -Alaska -Arkansas -Connecticut -District of Columbia -Idaho -Indiana -Kansas -Louisiana -Maryland -Michigan -Mississippi -Montana -Nevada -New Jersey -North Carolina -Ohio -Oregon -South Carolina -Tennessee -Utah -Virginia -West Virginia -Wyoming
Where Hedgehogs Are Not Legal
Hedgehogs are not legal in the following states:
Washington D.C. and Wyoming have both previously had restrictions on hedgehog ownership but no longer do.
In California, hedgehogs are banned as they are deemed to be endangered and pose a threat to other fish and wildlife. The animals are banned from domestic living under Section 671, Title 14 of the California Code of Regulations.
Georgia bans hedgehogs under O.C.G.A. Section 27-5-4 for hedgehogs without a permit. The state of Hawaii offers a list of approved animals and a list of restricted animals. The hedgehog is not listed on any of those lists, but Hawaii does have a clause where any animal not found on the list is prohibited. Penalties for owning a hedgehog could include up to three years of jail time and fines of up to $500,000.
For Pennsylvania, hedgehogs are considered exotic animals. A permit is required to have one in Pennsylvania, and it must be obtained from the Pennsylvania Game Commission. Owners will need to have two years of experience of hands-on experience with hedgehogs to be eligible for a permit, and a letter of approval from a municipal government office.
Consequences for Owning a Hedgehog Illegally
There are consequences if you are found to be owning a hedgehog illegally, and they will be aligned with the legislation or regulation surrounding the requirements to own one if permitted. In some states, hedgehogs will be confiscated or removed from the home. There are some concerns that hedgehogs would be euthanized if owned illegally, but those claims are unconfirmed. The laws around hedgehogs are usually connected to the nature of the species, its threat to other animals, and preserving both the species and the other animals around it.