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Hedgehog Permit For Ownership in California

Is it possible to get a permit for owning a hedgehog in California or other states where it’s illegal?

By Jill Warnick
Posted: May 13, 2009, 5 a.m. EDT

Q: I want to get a hedgehog for two reasons: because I want one badly, and also to show it to children at an elementary school where I volunteer. I live in California, where it is illegal to own a hedgehog. I’ve heard that it’s possible to own one with a permit, but I don’t know how to get a permit. Do you know where I can get a permit to own a hedgehog legally?

A: It is legal to own a hedgehog in all but a handful of states and some cities. Unfortunately, California is one of those states where it is illegal to own a hedgehog.

As I understand it, a permit for a hedgehog might be issued in California for educational purposes, but it is seldom handed out. If you still want to pursue a permit, call the California Department of Fish and Game. They have all the applications and can tell you what’s involved. 

If you do not live in California and want to know if it’s legal to own a hedgehog in your state, here is a list of states and counties where it is illegal to own a hedgehog: California, Georgia, Hawaii, Nebraska, New York City and Fairfax County, Virginia.  A permit is required to own a hedgehog in these states: Arizona, Maine, New Jersey, Wyoming, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania.

See more hedgehog expert questions and answers.

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Reader Comments
What are the consequences of having a hedgehog with out a permit in California
Lilana, International
Posted: 10/21/2015 9:00:44 PM
I live in California and have always wanted Hedge Hogs. I would like a permit for them. Also they are so rare that taking them to the group home where my son lives along with other mentally slow. It would make them happy and it would be very educational. I would love to get this permit snd would never be let loose. I love animals and know how to take good care of them.
Marie, Los Molinos, CA
Posted: 5/12/2015 2:37:04 PM
i want a hedgehog so bad...there is no problem having a hedgehog you just need to get it checked for disease and take care of yourself by washing your hands and the hedgehog. the law is unfair,
Kortney H., Tulare, CA
Posted: 12/29/2014 9:25:55 PM
I think that permits should be attainable, not just for educational purposes, but to anyone who is suitable to responsibly take care of one.
Kelly, Tulare, CA
Posted: 12/6/2014 9:30:34 AM
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