Are Hedgehogs Legal In Ny?

Are Hedgehogs Legal In Ny

Many people may be surprised to learn that hedgehogs are not legal in all states. In New York, it is illegal to own a hedgehog as a pet without the proper permits and licenses. This article will discuss whether or not owning a hedgehog is legal in New York state and what steps need to be taken if someone wishes to legally own one. We will also go over potential risks associated with owning an exotic animal such as a hedgehog and look at the pros and cons of allowing these animals into our homes.

Unfortunately, owning a hedgehog as a pet is illegal in the state of New York without obtaining the necessary permits and licenses. This means that if someone wishes to own a hedgehog, they must first contact their local health department or municipality for information about how to obtain these permits.

Potential Risks Associated with Owning an Exotic Animal

It is important to consider the potential risks associated with owning any exotic animal, such as a hedgehog. These animals may carry diseases, have specialized dietary needs that can be difficult to meet in captivity, and require significant space for exercise and enrichment activities.

Pros and Cons of Owning a Hedgehog

Owning a hedgehog can be rewarding but also comes with many responsibilities. Some pros include:

  • Hedgehogs are small, easy to care for pets.
  • They are generally quiet and not overly active, making them suitable for apartment living.
  • They provide companionship and can be affectionate towards their owners.

Some cons include:

The Unfortunate Reality of Hedgehog Ownership in New York City

Hedgehog ownership is a popular pet choice for many people, especially those living in urban areas. Unfortunately, there are certain restrictions that make it difficult for hedgehog owners in New York City to keep their beloved pets.

Regulations and Restrictions

In New York City, the Health Code prohibits keeping wild or exotic animals as pets. This means that owning a hedgehog is illegal unless you obtain an exotic animal permit from the Department of Health. Even if you do get the necessary permits, there are still restrictions on where you can keep your pet; they must be housed indoors at all times and cannot be released into public spaces like parks or streets.

Care Challenges

Caring for a hedgehog can also be challenging due to space constraints. In order to provide them with adequate housing, they need ample floor space and places to hide. Furthermore, because of their nocturnal nature, they require special lighting and bedding materials that may not always be available in small urban apartments.

Potential Problems with Neighbors

  • Due to their sharp quills, some neighbors may object to having a hedgehog in close proximity.
  • Noise levels from running wheels and other activities can also cause issues between neighbors.

Finally, even if you find ways around these obstacles and get permission from your landlord or building manager to house a pet hedgehog – making sure that everyone else who lives in your building is comfortable with this decision is essential since it could lead to potential legal problems down the road.

Obtaining a License to Own a Hedgehog in New York

In order to legally own a hedgehog in the state of New York, you must obtain a license from the local Department of Agriculture and Markets. All pet stores that sell hedgehogs must have this license before they are allowed to do so.

Requirements for Obtaining a License

  • You must be at least 18 years old or older.
  • You will need to provide proof of identification such as a driver’s license, passport, or other government-issued ID.
  • You will need to provide proof that the animal is healthy. This may include providing veterinary records or having your vet sign off on an inspection form provided by the department.
  • The animal needs to have been vaccinated against certain diseases, which can vary depending on where you live. Your vet should be able to provide you with these records if necessary.
  • The animal needs to be spayed/neutered if it is over six months old. If this is not done, then there may be additional fees associated with obtaining the license.

(Please note that these rules & regulations may change over time so it’s important to check with your local authorities about the legality and procedure prior to owning a hedgehog.)

Applying for a License

Once you meet all of the requirements mentioned above, you can apply for your license online through the Department of Agriculture and Markets website. You will need to fill out an application form and submit it along with any required documentation (such as proof of vaccination). Once your application has been approved, you will receive an official pet ownership certificate which serves as evidence that you are legally allowed to own your hedgehog in New York State.

The Legalities of Owning a Hedgehog in Upstate New York

In general, hedgehogs are legal to own as pets in Upstate New York. However, there are some restrictions and regulations that must be followed.

Local Regulations

Before purchasing a hedgehog in Upstate New York, it is important to check your local laws and ordinances first. Some cities may have their own specific regulations regarding the ownership of exotic animals like hedgehogs. Check with your local municipality for any applicable rules or restrictions before acquiring a hedgehog.

New York State Laws

There are no state-wide bans on hedgehog ownership in Upstate New York; however, they are considered “exotic” species by the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). This means that certain permits may be required to legally keep them as pets. Additionally, local municipalities may choose to pass their own more stringent laws on pet ownership.

  • Permits:
  1. A permit from the DEC is required if you plan on keeping five or more hedgehogs as pets.

  2. A separate permit may also be needed if you intend to breed your hedgehog(s).

  • Vaccinations:
  1. Hedgehogs should receive annual vaccinations against rabies according to the recommendation of their veterinarian.


To conclude, hedgehogs are legal to own as a pet in New York. However, the person must obtain a permit from their local health department prior to owning one. Furthermore, owners need to make sure that their hedgehog is healthy and free of any diseases or parasites. With proper care and attention, owning a hedgehog can be an enjoyable experience for everyone involved!


  • Frederick

    Frederick Faunce is an experienced and passionate hedgehog writer, blogger, and researcher. He has dedicated his life to understanding the conservation and care of hedgehogs, and is committed to educating and inspiring others to do the same.

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