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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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Hedgehog Permit For Ownership in California

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Reader Comments
I think it is VERY WRONG that we as free people can not own any of these illegal animals as pets .! Some people like myself are very responsible and would keep these animals away from getting out or wondering around . I was VERY upset to hear hedgehogs were illegal in the state of California because I was planning on owning a hedgehog until I found out out about this so I disagree with this choice
alex, whittier, CA
Posted: 11/2/2014 6:04:01 PM
Being a military service member, I would get moving around throughout the service(USAF). Would it be possible to be granted a permit while residing in CA? Thank you in advance for responding.
Jose L, VAFB, CA
Posted: 10/17/2014 4:40:20 PM
I think it should be legal to own a hedgehog in California
Gabriel, Benicia, CA
Posted: 2/15/2014 10:43:46 AM
Do you know how inbred these exotic pets may be if they are being bred here in the USA?
I mean, it's not like they could just go outside and trap a new animal to introduce new genes to the breeding pool. ARE they breeding responsibly by breeding away from the same genes to create healthy animals?

Exotic animals carry zoonotic diseases that we do NOT have vaccinations for. Do you ever wonder WHY we vaccinate dogs and cats?
Do you know how long it would take the CDC to determine what disease you got from your exotic pet if your doctor has no idea what you have or tracing WHERE your exotic pet got it from and HOW it got it?

Do YOU understand or know WHY there are animal rescues? Because there are people like YOU who want what you want, and then discard it when YOU don't want it anymore. You know what the sad thing is? YOU WON'T BE THE FIRST AND YOU WON'T BE THE LAST TO DO THAT TO THE ANIMALS.
Animal rescues try to step in as much as they can to save the lives of these discarded pets but, do YOU know that they are NOT funded by the government? That they rely heavily upon their own resources and charity?

It's not like we DON'T already have an overpopulation of domesticated animals being euthanized by the thousands everyday.
Now, we're gonna add more animal species that the majority of the population don't know how to care for and expect the government to do something about the overpopulation of these exotic animals that SHOULDN'T have been here in the first place?

I stand by California for banning the majority of exotic animals sold as pets. I stand by their decision to NOT participate in the black market trading of exotic animals. I stand by their decision to NOT support the animal smugglers that harvest and trap animals to be smuggled to the USA. I stand by their decision to NOT contribute to the extinction of a species in its own native habitat.

How many times have we seen news headlines of suitcases filled with dead, exotic animals discovered at airports before you realize HOW your exotic pet was transported here and the conditions they endured?

I know that not ALL pet owners are irresponsible but, those that ARE irresponsible are the majority of the population. Unfortunately, those that are responsible pet owners are in the minority.
Shena, Los Angeles, CA
Posted: 1/16/2014 11:10:43 AM
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