Animal regulations » 5 animals That room Illegal as Pets In California » 5 pets That space Illegal as Pets In California

Posted on august 8, 2021

California has actually some that the toughest legislations on exotic pets in the nation. Only Hawaii’s regulations are an ext restrictive. The California Fish and Game Code makes it a misdemeanor to keep as a pet any animal that isendangered or which the department considersa hazard to windy health and also safety or to aboriginal fish, wildlife, or agriculture.

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Many that these limitations seem evident – together as prohibitions on owning lions, tigers or bears. However,given that virtually anything goes as soon as you overcome the border into Nevada, the penalty can capture some pet ownersoff-guard. If thoseliving ~ above the eastern side of Lake Tahoe have the right to legally very own a wide variety of animals,those on the California side who have so much as a hedgehog challenge penalties that can include:

A polite fine the $500 – $10,000, to add the costs of the animal’s removal, storage and care, and/or Criminal prosecution because that a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 6 month in ar jail and/or a good of as much as $1,000.

Fortunately, people are seldom prosecuted because that illegal possession the exotic pets in California. However, the state the California has actually the right to take any unlawful pet away from you. Depending upon the species, this can an outcome in her illegal California pet beingrehabilitated and released right into the wild,sent to a care facility, or evenbeing offered to a laboratory or euthanized.

So before you walk bringing the pet sugar glider, fur-ranch fox or Quaker parakeet into California, it pays to know that they are illegal pet in California. Likewise illegal room these five cute and popular — but prohibited — critters:



California is one of the couple of states the prohibit pet property of ferrets.

Ferrets areMustelids, the organic family that additionally includes otters, mink, weasels, and polecats. Tamed originally for vermin control, they now make very popular pets and also are legitimate in every or components of every state except California and Hawaii.

Despite intensive lobbying to legalization ferrets in California, however, you cannot legally store a ferret in California without a permit. Although debated by ferret lovers, the California room Fish that Wildlife take away the positionthat escaped or exit pet ferrets posea significant risk to California’s rare indigenous animals and birds. Together a result, ferrets can not be legit imported, transported or possessed in California except by a allow issued because that a specific, legal purpose — such as clinical research or carrying rescued ferrets the end of state.

Note the ferrets are legal under most state laws consisting of Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, brand-new Jersey, north Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, Wyoming, and more.



Hedgehogs have the right to be dangerous come people and also are as such illegal to keep as pet in California.

Another popular pet the is legitimate in countless states is the hedgehog. Hedgehogs arecute nocturnal mammalseasily well-known by your quills which, uneven those on a porcupine, perform not readilydetach from their bodies.

Nevertheless,the quills deserve to still penetrate skin and hedgehogs can transmit illness such as ringworm and salmonella come humans. Like ferrets, however, themain reason hedgehogsare illegal in California, however, is as result of the threat escaped and also abandoned hedgehogs attitude to aboriginal wildlife.



Only zoos and scientists deserve to keep chimpanzees in California.

Many of united state are acquainted with Justin Bieber’s previous pet Capuchin monkey, Mally. However, what many world don’t recognize is the Mally, prefer all primates, to be an illegal pet. The department of Fish and Wildlife considers primates – including monkeys and also chimpanzees — both an undesirable menace to native California wildlife and also agriculture, and a danger to publicly health and also safety.

In California, monkeys and other primates have the right to only be possessed by qualified human being issued a allow for a particular legal function – such as training primates to carry out in film and also television productions or for use in clinical research.



Squirrels eat virtually anything, which is partially why they space illegal to store as pets in California.

Given the pervasiveness of wild 설 설 in California, it may surprise you to find out that keeping one as a pet is illegal.

However, 설 설 have incredibly sharp nails and teeth and, unlike trained mammals, no chew inhibition reflex. This method that squirrels will certainly eat anything that looks tasty – including wall paper, dry wall, furniture, junk food, and also even their own waste.

So if friend love California’s squirrelsas much as us do, we suggest you reap them in the wild. Just don’t it is in tempted to feeding them. Feeding a wild animal — also a squirrel — is considered animal harassment under section 251.1.of the California Fish and also Game Code. Although seldom punished,feeding a squirrel in California cansubject you come a well of $100 – $1,000.

While it is versus the legislation to feeding a squirrel, however,it is legal in part countiesto hunt California tree 설 설 in season. Before killing a squirrel – or other pets such together rabbits, hares or jackrabbits that deserve to be legally pursued in California – it is finest to check with the California room of Fish and also Wildlife come ensure the it is both legitimate in your county and also the appropriate hunting season.



Gerbils can not be lawfully preserved as pets in California.

Like ferrets, gerbils are famous pets in the united States.However, California’s climate is comparable to a gerbil’s herbal desert habitat. Together a result, state public representative are pertained to that gerbils that escape or room released into the wild could establish feral nests that would damage crops and also native plants and animals. This makes keeping a gerbil illegal in California.

If you space looking fora rodent together apet, therefore, we recommend that you stick come those rodents that room legal in California – specifically, tamed races of golden hamsters, dwarf hamsters, rats, mice, guinea pigs, and also chinchilla (Chinchilla laniger).

According to the California password of regulations (CCR) 671, pet property of the following pets is likewise illegal there is no a distinct permit: Raccoons, skunks, alligators, lemurs, zebras, certain venomous reptiles, prairie dogs, wolf hybrids (wolf-dogs), big cats such as bobcats, servals, and cheetahs. The reasons for this restrictions have to do with security of natural resources, indigenous species, and also the ecosystem.


Call our legislation firm because that legal advice. Us offer free consultations.

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We hope you will certainly never face the ns of a beloved pet or criminal fees for maintaining an illegal pets in California. If you do, but – or if girlfriend or a loved one is charged through a violation of California’s pet cruelty laws – us are right here to help. We room headquartered in Los Angeles however have offices throughout the state. Simply contact us via the kind on this page or call our nearest office for a totally free consultation with one of our caring California criminal defense lawyers. (See our associated article, What is pet Abuse in California?)

About the Author


Neil Shouse

A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors native UC Berkeley and also Harvard law School (and completed additional graduate researches at MIT). He has been featured ~ above CNN, an excellent Morning America, Dr Phil, Court TV, The this day Show and also Court TV. Grandfather Shouse has been well-known by the national Trial Lawyers as one of the optimal 100 Criminal and Top 100 polite Attorneys.