Hedgehog Pets Are Now Legal In Arizona

After being banned for years, hedgehogs are now permitted in Arizona due to a change in state law.

After being banned for years, hedgehogs are now permitted in Arizona due to a change in state law.

hedgehog standing
Via Hands Optek/Flickr 
December 5, 2015, is the day a change in law went into effect that permits people to own hedgehog pets in Arizona.

Many people are captivated by hedgehogs, and in the last few decades, the African hedgehog entered the pet trade and joined many families in their homes. Several hedgehogs have become stars on social media.

But pet hedgehogs aren’t welcome everywhere in the United States. They are illegal to own in several states and cities. According to the Hedgehog Welfare Society, six states ban them and two cities. It’s also possible that local ordinances ban them at city or county level. 

But on December 5, 2015, one state dropped from the list of states that ban hedgehogs. Arizona now permits hedgehogs as pets thanks to a change in law that went into effect this month. The announcement was made on the Arizona Game and Fish Department website in its December 4 news. The Department reviews its rules every five years.

Pat Crouch, field supervisor for the Arizona Game and Fish Department, told the Arizona Daily Star that hedgehogs are now considered suitable pets. 

“Originally, some of the hedgehogs brought in from different parts of the world could have survived here in the wild and been a problem for native species,” Crouch told the Arizona Daily Star. “But the type that is now sold as pets wouldn’t survive in the wild and become a problem.”

Pet hedgehogs originated from Africa but are now bred domestically. They typically weigh less than 2 pounds and measure 5 to 8 inches long. Their life span in captivity is about 4 to 7 years. Although state law may permit ownership of hedgehogs, always check with local animal control to be sure that local laws allow hedgehog pets.

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