Are Hedgehogs Legal In PA?

Are Hedgehogs Legal In Pa

Hedgehogs are an increasingly popular pet choice in many areas of the United States. The popularity of these small, spiky creatures has led to questions about their legality in certain states. In this article, we will explore the laws and regulations surrounding hedgehog ownership in Pennsylvania and examine whether or not they are legal pets within the state.

We’ll cover topics such as what types of permits may be necessary for hedgehog owners, any restrictions on owning them, and potential consequences for violating those regulations. Finally, we’ll provide some helpful tips for those considering investing in a hedgehog as a pet.

The short answer is yes, hedgehogs are legal in Pennsylvania. However, there are certain requirements and restrictions that must be followed to ensure their safe and ethical ownership.

Permits and Regulations

  • Hedgehog owners in Pennsylvania must obtain a permit from the state Department of Agriculture before they can legally own one.
  • These permits are issued on an annual basis and require proof of rabies vaccinations for both the hedgehog owner and the animal itself.
  • In addition, all hedgehogs must have a microchip implant for identification purposes.


  • It is illegal to release any non-native species into the wild in Pennsylvania. This includes hedgehogs which must remain with their owners at all times.
  • It is also prohibited to keep more than six hedgehogs per household as pets. Any additional animals will need to be housed elsewhere or acquired through a proper rescue organization or breeder.

(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.)

Consequences of Keeping a Hedgehog in Pennsylvania

In the state of Pennsylvania, keeping a hedgehog as a pet is illegal. This law was put into place to protect native animals and habitats from foreign species.

Penalties for Breaking the Law

If an individual is caught keeping a hedgehog in Pennsylvania, they could face hefty fines and even jail time. The exact punishment varies depending on the judge or court that handles the case.

Risks to Native Species

Bringing non-native species like hedgehogs into Pennsylvania can have serious consequences for native wildlife and their habitats. Hedgehogs may introduce diseases or parasites that can harm native animals, compete with them for resources, or disrupt delicate ecosystems.

Potential Health Risks

Hedgehogs can carry certain diseases that are dangerous to humans, such as salmonella. They also require specialized diets which may be difficult to provide and costly over time.

Anyone considering owning a hedgehog should research all potential risks before making any decisions about doing so in violation of Pennsylvania law.

The Unlawful Possession of Pets in Pennsylvania

In the state of Pennsylvania, it is illegal to own or possess certain types of pets. The unlawful possession of wild animals and non-domesticated species can carry significant penalties for offenders.

Types of Prohibited Animals

Pennsylvania prohibits the ownership and/or possession of any animals which are considered dangerous or potentially harmful to humans or other animals. This includes large carnivorous cats (such as lions, tigers, leopards, jaguars), bears, wolves, venomous snakes and spiders, primates (monkeys), raccoons, skunks and bats.

Penalties for Unlawful Possession

Offenders found guilty of unlawfully possessing prohibited pets face serious consequences. Penalties may include fines up to $1,000 per animal; jail time up to 90 days per animal; confiscation/seizure of the animal(s); court costs; restitution payments to cover damage caused by the pet(s); and prohibition from ever owning a pet again.


  • Zoos: Zoos licensed by the state are exempt from this law when housing approved species.
  • Veterinarians: Veterinarians who currently possess such animals may keep them for medical purposes only.
  • Educational Institutions: Educational institutions with proper permits may house certain species for educational purposes only.

Can You Have a Hedgehog as a Pet in Pennsylvania?

In the state of Pennsylvania, it is legal to own a hedgehog as a pet. However, there are some regulations and restrictions that must be followed to ensure the safety of your pet and those around you.

Regulations for Owning a Hedgehog in Pennsylvania

As with any exotic pet, there are certain rules and regulations that must be followed when owning a hedgehog in Pennsylvania. These include:

  • Housing Requirements: All pet hedgehogs should be kept in an enclosure that is at least three times their body length (6-8 feet) and two times their height (4-6 feet). The enclosure should also have adequate ventilation, temperature control, and protection from predators.
  • Veterinary Care: All pet hedgehogs should receive regular veterinary care including check-ups, vaccinations, deworming, flea prevention treatments, etc.
  • Licensing: Pennsylvania does not require owners to obtain any special licenses or permits for owning a hedgehog. However, all pets must be registered with the local government authority in order to comply with state laws regarding animal ownership.
  • Dietary Considerations: All pet hedgehogs need access to fresh water daily and should consume high quality insectivore diet pellets supplemented with vegetables such as carrots or sweet potatoes. Fruits can also be given occasionally but should only make up 10% of their overall diet.

Owning a hedgehog can be both rewarding and challenging. As long as all regulations are followed properly and necessary precautions taken, they can make wonderful companions.


In conclusion, hedgehogs are legal to own in Pennsylvania provided that the owner has the proper permits and licenses. While the species is not allowed to be released into the wild, they can still make excellent pets for those who have the resources and dedication necessary to provide a suitable habitat. Pet owners should research their local laws before purchasing or adopting one of these animals. By doing so, they will ensure that they remain within any applicable regulations while providing a safe and secure home for their pet hedgehog.


  • 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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