Squirrels are considered exotic animals and many Americans do enjoy keeping them as pets. In some states, you can own a pet squirrel with no paperwork or permits required. Arkansas, Idaho, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming all allow people to own pet squirrels.
Additionally, Nebraska requires that the squirrel wasn’t captured from the wild for it to be a legal pet. New Jersey allows red squirrels and flying squirrels to be kept as pets. South Dakota allows squirrels to be kept as pets as long as they were purchased from a state where they are legal. Massachusetts and Montana allow pet squirrels as long as they are flying squirrels.
Other states allow pet squirrels if a permit is obtained. These states are Delaware, Indiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Rhode Island, and South Carolina.
Florida allows for many exotic animals to be owned, but squirrels are not specifically mentioned. It is unclear if squirrels can be kept as pets in Florida.
In all other states and the District of Columbia, you are not allowed to keep a squirrel as a pet.
Making Sure Your Pet Squirrel is Legal
There are a number of ways that you can ensure that the pet you want to own is legal. First, if you are renting, check with your landlord to see if it is okay for you to have a pet. While a squirrel may be legal in your state, you will need to ensure it is permitted in the home.
Local municipalities can also have restrictions on exotic animals, and squirrels are considered to be exotic animals. Check with your local municipality before you seek a squirrel permit. They may be able to help you to get one, and they may also have additional city or county bylaws that you need to be aware of when you want to ensure your squirrel is legal to own and love.
Owning a Squirrel as a Pet
You can get a squirrel as a pet through a breeder. This is the easiest way to get a squirrel as a pet. Some people can catch them and domesticate them on their own, but they are not easy animals to catch on your own. Wild squirrels are also very difficult to tame. They just don’t want to be tamed, and it could cause many problems in your home, and for the squirrel. It is also important to remember that some states will not allow you to own a squirrel that was rescued from the wild. Purchasing squirrels from breeders will get you a domesticated animal that will be enjoyable to own and take care of.