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.
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