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Can You Own A Hedgehog In Pa? Pennsylvania Legal Rights (Updated)

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If you live in PA, you need answers to “can you own a hedgehog in Pa” before you get yourself one. There many exotic animals that many states do not allow one to own as pets. The sooner you are on the same page with your state’s legislature, the safer it is for you to avoid hefty fines or jail time. 

In places where it is legal to own a hedgehog, the owners point out that they are not only cute and excellent company for kids, but they are also potty trainable. Additionally, their small size makes them easy to manage compared to other large exotic animals. 

Related: Best Hedgehog Cage

Can You Own A Hedgehog In Pa?

Hedgehogs are becoming increasingly popular as pets around the country. But in Pennsylvania, it’s illegal to own a hedgehog as a pet. As they are not native to Pennsylvania or the United States all hedgehogs are banned in PA, which can be unfair. Zimmerman wants to make it legal to own hedgehogs in Pennsylvania.

Many states allow one to own a hedgehog as a pet. Unfortunately, Pa is not one of these states. Illegally owning a hedgehog in Pa might get you a fine of up to $40,000. 

Hedgehogs are insectivores and feed on insects, small snakes, and small mammals. Their native home is in Africa, Europe, and Asia. The African pygmy is the one that is common in America or the white-bellied one from Central Africa. 

Some lawmakers have tried to have Pa allow ownership of exotic pets like hedgehogs and sugar gliders. However, their efforts did not bear any fruits. In 2018, lawmakers rejected ownership of hedgehogs in Pa. 

Hedgehogs In Pa – Are Hedgehogs Legal In PA?

The PGC (Pennsylvania Game Commission) says it’s illegal to own hedgehogs in pa as they are a non-indigenous or non-domestic animal. This, they argue, may potentially endanger other Pennsylvania animals as hedgehogs will fight for habitats rights

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The main reason why Pennsylvania does not allow ownership of hedgehogs is because it can disrupt the local ecosystem if they are let loose. Since it is a non-native animal, it might end up competing with native animals for their habitat. Worst case scenario, the non-native animals could gobble up all the habitat from the native animals. 

Additionally, non-native animal species are seen as a threat to humans’ safety and health. Some of these animals transmit some bacteria and viruses to humans. 

Hedgehogs are also wired to survive in a cold climate, below 70 degrees Celcius. If it was to be let loose in Pennsylvania during the winter season, then it might not survive in the cold. This, of course, is posing a danger to the hedgehog’s life and can be fatal. 

Other lawmakers argue that hedgehogs are demanding, thus leading to high maintenance. New owners might realize with time that some of their traits are not ideal for a pet. Due to a lack of experience in handling exotic animals, this will be a frustrating experience. In this case, they will let the animal loose or lock it in a cage where it will suffer from neglect. 

Other States That Do Now Allow Ownership Of Hedgehogs

Pennsylvania is not the only state that does not allow ownership of these cute creatures. Other states and cities include: 

  • Hawaii 
  • California
  • Arizona 
  • New York
  • Washington DC

The answer to can you own a hedgehog in pa might not be what you were looking forward to. However, do not let this deter you from owning a pet. Other types of pets you can own include a ferret, capybara, or a fennec fox.

What Is The Fine For Owning A Hedgehog In Pa?

If you are fund owning a hedgehog In Pennsylvania, then the maximum fine you will face is up to $40,000.

Why Are Hedgehogs Illegal In Pa?

The Pennsylvania Game Commission issue a court order saying it’s illegal to have a hedgehog as a pet as a hedgehog is classed as a non-indigenous and non-domestic pet. This is against state law and could endanger Pennsylvania wildlife that already occupies the state by competing with it for habitat.

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