Keeping a hedgehog as a pet might be a dream to many. But unfortunately, this cute animal is illegal in some states. And your state can be one of them!
So, what states are hedgehogs illegal in?
Hedgehogs are illegals in some parts of the United States of America. States like California, Georgia, Pennsylvania, five boroughs of New York City, Hawaii, etc. They were illegal in New Jersey and Washington D.C. too. But recently, the law of both the states has permitted them to keep them as pets. However, You might need a permit first.
Well, the list is just a gist. This article has also covered the states where they are illegal and where they have been legalized recently. We’ve also mentioned where they are legal but with permits.
We have also discussed the causes behind hedgehogs being illegal.
So, keep reading.
States Where Hedgehogs Are Illegal
Hedgehogs are considered as wild animals. Wild animals usually don’t fit in society. As a result, they are considered dangerous for society and its people.
Hedgies are permitted in all parts of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and most of the USA. However, the following U.S. states do not allow pet hedgehogs :
California is very strict with its law regarding animals. All kinds of hedgehogs are illegal in California.
Georgia also doesn’t allow you to keep hedgehogs as pet animals. Though Georgians have made petitions to change the law. So, it is hoped that soon hedgehogs will be treated as legal pets there.
Hedgehogs have been illegal in Hawaii since forever. There is no regulation in taking permission to pet one. So, in Hawaii, hedgehogs are not legal as a pet.
Various petitions have been carried out in Pennsylvania to legalize hedgehogs. But they are still illegal there. Because they are considered harmful to the ecosystem.
New York City
You might think: Hey! Hedgehogs are legal in New York State!
Well, yes, they are legal. But they are not legal in the city and the five boroughs of New York.
The Nebraskans have some strict laws regarding animals. It is not legal to own a hedgehog there.
Well, Wisconsin might not be a popular state. But they carry some strict animal laws. The law of Wisconsin state doesn’t allow you to pet a hedgehog.
So, these are the states! Now, do you want to know the causes behind this?
Well, keep on reading!
Why are Hedgehogs Considered Illegal?
Well, the reason is very simple and logical. Hedgehogs are considered to be damaging to the ecosystem. How?
Hedgehogs are wild exotic animals. They are nutured in the wild by their families.
Hedgehogs were not popular as pets even a decade ago. But recently they have gained huge popularity as pets. They are quite common in households in the UK or Canada. But they aren’t native to the Americans.
If you pet a hedgehog, you are supposed to keep them in a cage so that it can not escape. But hedgehogs don’t adjust well in cages. Sometimes you might need to take them out.
However, like every other animal they might also escape the cage and go into the wild. This could bring a negative effect on the ecosystem. Which includes plants and other animals.
Hedgehogs are not common prey to other predator animals. It means that if they are not caged, they will go out and increase drastically. And if this happens their population will increase. This will endanger the natural ecosystem.
They will also be a threat to the existence of other animals or species. As they have a huge appetite and spend a large portion of their time finding food.
They are fed on a range of beetles, worms, snails, and insects. Not only these, but they also like plants and other animals like mice, birds, and eggs. Many of these insects, worms, birds, or animals play a significant role which balances the ecosystem.
So, the increased population of hedgehogs will consume them. This will make the ecosystem out of line. And a disrupted ecosystem will have serious after effects. This might even cause the extinction of some animals.
There’s another reason for hedgehogs being illegal. That is, they sometimes carry a deadly disease. It’s a disease of cloven-hoofed animals, the foot and mouth disease.
For all these reasons, some states around the world have strict laws regarding hedgehogs.
How to Keep a Hedgehog in a State Where it’s Illegal?
You should contact the animal control of your state. They might allow you to keep one with a permit.
Apart from this, other states like Alaska, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Montana, and Missouri. Illinois, Oklahoma, Ohio, Texas and etc. states allow legally to keep hedgehogs as pets.
However, in states like Idaho and New Jersey, you need to take a permit before bringing in a hedgehog.
What Happens if I am Caught With a Hedgehog?
If you are caught with a hedgehog where they are illegal, you might be issued a fine of $500 or more. Your hedgehog will also be taken away. And you will be responsible for the care cost and removal of the hedgehog.
What should I do if I find a hedgehog in my garden?
If you see a hedgehog in your lawn or garden, it means they are lost. You can pick them up slowly and take them to the wildlife rescue center.
Can a hedgehog kill you?
Hedgehogs can not kill you physically. But you might get infected by a rare and dangerous bacteria. Salmonella bacteria is carried by hedgehogs. And this bacteria might even kill you.
You know now what states are hedgehogs illegal in?
To conclude, if you want to pet a hedgehog, you just cannot bring them home like other pets. You need to know if they are legal in your state or not.
However, laws are changing every day. People are now being more empathetic towards animals. Also, a lot of states have recently legalized hedgehogs.
So don’t be sad if you can’t pet one now. You might be able to pet one soon!
That’s all for today! Stay safe.