Are Hedgehogs Legal In Ohio?

Are Hedgehogs Legal In Ohio

Hedgehogs are one of the most popular exotic pets, but are they legal to own in Ohio? That’s a question on many pet owners’ minds. In this article, we will explore the legality of owning a hedgehog in Ohio and what restrictions may apply. We’ll address whether or not it is legal to keep them as pets and how to go about getting one if you decide that’s the right choice for you. We’ll also discuss any special care requirements and other considerations before bringing home your new prickly pal. So if you’re asking yourself “are hedgehogs legal in Ohio?”, read on!

The short answer is yes, hedgehogs are legal to own as pets in Ohio. However, there are some restrictions and regulations that you must be aware of before bringing home your new prickly friend.

Regulations for Owning a Hedgehog in Ohio

  • Hedgehogs must be at least six weeks old before being sold or given away.
  • A Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI) from an accredited veterinarian is required for any out-of-state hedgehog moving into Ohio.
  • It is illegal to transport live hedgehogs across state lines without a permit or 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.)

Prohibited Animals in Ohio

Ohio has certain laws and regulations regarding the types of animals that can be owned as pets. Below is a list of prohibited animals in Ohio:

  • Primates: Monkeys, apes, and other primates are considered exotic animals and are illegal to own as pets in Ohio.
  • Carnivores: Wolves, foxes, bears, coyotes, lynx, and other carnivorous mammals cannot be kept as pets.
  • Reptiles: Certain reptiles such as venomous snakes and large constricting snakes are prohibited.
  • Large Cats: Tigers, cougars, leopards, jaguars, cheetahs, ocelots and other big cats are not allowed to be privately owned in Ohio.
  • Raccoons & Skunks: Keeping raccoons or skunks as pets is illegal due to their potential for disease transmission.
  • Non-native Wild Birds & Mammals: Many wild birds (eagles, hawks, etc.) and mammals (bobcats, badgers, etc.) from outside of Ohio cannot legally be possessed by individuals without proper permits.

Laws Prohibiting Hedgehogs in Certain States

Hedgehogs are a popular exotic pet, but there are some states that have laws prohibiting the ownership of hedgehogs. These laws apply to anyone who is looking to buy, own, or transport a hedgehog in these states.

States That Ban Hedgehog Ownership

As of 2020, there are several states with laws banning the possession and sale of hedgehogs as pets: California, Georgia, Hawaii, Pennsylvania, Maine and Washington D.C. In addition to these states, New York City also prohibits owning a hedgehog within city limits.

Penalties for Violating Laws

The punishment for violating any of these laws can range from fines to jail time depending on where you live. For example, in California it is illegal to possess a hedgehog without an exotic animal permit; those caught with one could face up to six months in prison and/or be fined up to $1,000.

  • California: Possession without an exotic animal permit could result in up to 6 months in prison and/or being fined up to $1,000.
  • Georgia: It is illegal for residents of Georgia to own any wildlife species not native or legally acquired. Failure to comply may result in a fine between $500 – $5,000 or imprisonment from 30 days to 12 months.
  • Hawaii: It is illegal for individuals living in Hawaii to own any type of wild mammal as a pet. Those caught breaking this law may face criminal charges.
  • Pennsylvania: The state bans all non-domestic animals except domestic ferrets (Mustela putorius furo). Anyone found possessing wildlife without the proper permits can be charged with Animal Cruelty and receive fines or jail time.
  • Maine: Ownership of certain non-native species including hedgehogs requires special permits issued by the Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife which are rarely granted. Possessing such animals without permission can result in substantial fines or jail sentence.
  • Washington D.C: It is illegal for residents living within Washington D.C. city limits to keep any kind of wild animal as a pet, including hedgehogs. Penalties for violation include hefty fines and possibly even imprisonment.

The Legality of Keeping Hedgehogs as Pets in the United States

Hedgehogs are becoming increasingly popular as pets in the United States. However, before you decide to bring a hedgehog home, it is important to understand the legalities involved with keeping these animals as pets.

State Laws and Regulations

Most states regulate the ownership of hedgehogs. Some places allow for hedgehog ownership without any restrictions, while other states require permits or may even ban their possession altogether. It is best to contact your local wildlife agency for specific laws that apply to your area.

U.S. Federal Law

Under U.S federal law, hedgehog ownership is not prohibited per se but they must be purchased from a licensed breeder and transported across state lines only if they have been inspected by an accredited veterinarian within 30 days prior to shipment.

  • California: Hedgehog ownership is illegal in California due to their status as an invasive species.
  • New York City: It is illegal for residents of New York City to own pet hedgehogs.
  • Hawaii: All non-domestic animals are banned from being kept as pets in Hawaii.
  • Florida & Texas: No permit or license required for owning a pet hedgehog in Florida and Texas.


In conclusion, hedgehogs are legal in Ohio as long as they are obtained through a USDA-approved source and have been vaccinated against rabies. However, there may be local ordinances that regulate the ownership of exotic pets such as hedgehogs. It’s important to research your city or county laws before purchasing a pet hedgehog. If you decide to own a hedgehog, it is essential to provide proper nutrition, housing, and veterinary care for your pet. Ultimately, owning a pet hedgehog can be an enjoyable experience for both you and your beloved pet!


  • 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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