Where Hedgehogs are Illegal
Although hedgehogs legal in all of Canada and most areas of the United States of America, there are still places where hedgehogs are illegal. Below is a list including simple explanations as to why these unfortunate regulations exist.
The latest information (as of April, 2007) that we have is the following:
Two permits are required to own a hedgehog in Maine. The first is an importation permit and the other is a Possession permit. There is a fee of $27 for each permit application. There is some uncertainty as to what the requirements for permit acceptance are but it is apparently a lengthy process due to the fact that the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife are currently updating their unrestricted species list.
The unrestricted species list can be found at:
As stated, the list is currently being updated and they hope to have it finished by August. At that time, hedgehogs may or may not be on the list. They are also hoping to implement a way for people to propose that animals be added to the list (which may involve a fee).
At present, any hedgehog found in the State without the proper permit will be confiscated with the individual owner being fined.
Our thanks go to Julie Pierce for this most recent update.
The restrictions in AZ are rather bizarre. African Pygmy hedgehogs are 'officially' legal, but Arizona Game & Fish Department will only allow keepers to have hedgehogs if you can first meet certain housing and other requirements. The requirements that they stipulate are virtually impossible for even large, accredited zoos to meet. As a result, there is little chance that the average person will be allowed to keep a hedgehog within the state.
Hedgehogs are illegal in the entire state of California. California has a law that deems all animals not specifically listed as legal under State law as being illegal by default. Until such time as California's Department of Fish and Game is willing to consider hedgehogs for legal status, they will continue to be considered contraband pets and may be confiscated and either moved out of state or destroyed.
For some time the State of Georgia was unclear on their attitude toward hedgehogs. Unfortunately, recent clarification has deemed them illegal. It seems they are concerned that escaped pet animals may set up a resident wild population. Oddly enough, licensed breeders are allowed, but any hedgehogs sold as pets must be shipped out of state.
Due to the risk of hedgehogs being capable of surviving in the wilds of these Pacific islands, hedgehogs are illegal throughout the state and are confiscated whenever they are found.
A very unfortunate political battle has developed within the State of Pennsylvania making hedgehogs illegal to the point where threats have been made against even the transport of hedgehogs through the state on the way to another state.
All of this is the result of an initial (and unusual) law established in the 1990's. Under that law, hedgehogs within the state were legal, but it was illegal to import fresh bloodlines into the state. A few breeders violated that law resulting in the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) declaring all out war on all hedgehogs within the state. Breeder's homes have been raided and their hedgehogs confiscated with all of the zeal of a major drug bust. Suffice it to say, owning a hedgehog in Pennsylvania under the draconian rule of PGC is extremely dangerous for both owner and hedgehog.
Municipalities Where Hedgehogs are Illegal:
The 5 Boroughs of New York City
Douglas County, Nebraska.
Langley, British Columbia