Which Exotic Pets Are Legal in the United States? - PetHelpful - By fellow animal lovers and experts
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Which Exotic Pets Are Legal in the United States?

Melissa cares for a variety of exotic animals and has completed a certificate in veterinary assisting and a bachelor's degree in biology.

From left, bobcat by John Fowler, lemur by Thowra_uk, wolf by Rexano (used with permission), and fennec fox by Kitty Terwolbeck, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr

From left, bobcat by John Fowler, lemur by Thowra_uk, wolf by Rexano (used with permission), and fennec fox by Kitty Terwolbeck, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr

Which exotic pets are legal in the United States? The better question is which exotic pets are legal in your specified state. Bans vary from state to state. Even within your state, animal bans also exist in certain cities, counties, and neighborhood associations. This article will give you an idea of which pets are generally allowed, but you should always look into the specific regulations that apply to you.

People’s definitions of an exotic animal vary. The media generally uses the word "exotic" to describe pets that people fear, such as big cats, large snakes, and wolves (even though these canines are native to America).

Exotics are generally any animal other than dogs, cats, farm animals, and common "pocket" pets such as guinea pigs, rabbits, and small rodents like hamsters. Small reptiles are exotic pets, but they are rarely banned. Parrots are another exotic species that rarely face bans. There are exceptions to these rules, of course.

The Fine Print

The legality of certain animal species may depend specific regulations. Some animals are only legal if you can meet certain requirements, are eligible for a USDA license, or are using the animal for specific, non-pet purposes (e.g. commercial, exhibition, sanctuary, or educational). This article will address animals that are legal for private ownership either without criteria or with criteria that an average citizen can meet.

Exotic Pet Bans

Exotic pets are often misjudged and misunderstood, and misinformation is abundant.

Most exotic pets are illegal in California, and Hawaii has the strictest pet regulations because island ecosystems are the most prone to invasive species (ironically, one of their most prominent invasive species, the domesticated cat, is one of the few pets you can own there).

New York City is famous among exotic pet enthusiasts for its absurd pet restrictions. Common animals in the pet trade such as ball pythons, ferrets, and tarantulas are banned but still kept illegally by its citizens.

This list is provided as a general guide and for public interest. It should not be taken as a definitive document that verifies the legality of animals one is seeking to keep.

  • What Is an Exotic Pet?
    When people say "wild animals are not pets", which animals are they referring to? What is an exotic or wild pet? It is a much broader category than most people realize.

Carnivora

Animals in this category that are sometimes kept as pets include, but are not limited to:

  • Big cats (tigers, mountain lions, lions, *cheetahs, leopards)
  • Bears (black bears, sun bears, brown bears)
  • Canines (fennec fox, red fox, silver fox, wolves, wolf hybrids)
  • Hyenas
  • Medium and small cats (servals, caracals, bobcats, Asian leopard cats, hybrids)
  • Mustelids (polecats, ferrets, weasels)
  • Procyonids (raccoons, kinkajous, ring-tailed cats)
  • Skunks
  • Viverrids (genets, binturongs, Asian palm civets)

If your state has a ban or requires a permit for animals in the order Carnivora, then all of these animals (excluding whatever listed exceptions) are not legal.

*Cheetahs are rare in the United States and are not kept as pets. They are also not really big cats and are nowhere near as dangerous.

Most of these animals are illegal in many states.

A sunbear "Ursidae." Animals in this group (carnivora) can be big...

A sunbear "Ursidae." Animals in this group (carnivora) can be big...

...and small (a fennec fox).

...and small (a fennec fox).

Some Notable States

  • Hawaii has the most restrictive pet laws. Almost all animals other than cats and dogs are illegal and any pet entering the state must be quarantined
  • Nevada has the loosest exotic pet laws, where some animals such as tigers, non-human primates, elephants, and wolves are legal to own without a permit. However, alligators, crocodiles, coyotes, foxes, raccoons are not legal to own in the state.
  • California also has strict exotic pet laws, which include ferrets, sugar gliders, and hedgehogs.
  • Ohio (where the Zanesville massacre occurred) enacted its exotic pet ban in 2014.

Big Cats (Tigers, Servals, Caracals)

Big cats can be divided into two categories. There are the "true" big cat species (tigers, leopards, lions, cheetahs, mountain lions, jaguars) and then there are the small to medium-sized cats, consisting of servals, caracals, Asian leopard cats, jungle cats, bobcats, fishing cats, and lynxes, which can be found in the diminishing exotic pet trade.

There are also hybrids of servals (Savannah cats), jungle cats, and Asian leopard cats (Bengals). Unfortunately, these animals are often lumped together, with the exception of Bengal cats which tend to be sold with lower wild parentage. These animals are in most U.S. states, despite the claims of organizations like Born Free. Only about five states do not regulate them. One example is North Carolina, but many counties in this state not only ban these animals, but also heavily restrict more common exotics. Also in North Carolina, special regulations exist for native felines.

Native animals such as bobcats and mountain lions often have special regulations.

The smaller cats and hybrids mentioned here pose little or no risk to the public. Currently, no fatalities are listed for all of them. However, they are often banned even though they statistically pose less of a public safety risk than animals that are considered domesticated.

Smaller Cats

Some states, such as Florida, may administer permits for the smaller cats to pet owners who have met certain criteria, such as 1,000 hours volunteering with the sought-after species. The big cats are considered class 1 wildlife and are not legal to own for private use (but can be obtained for commercial use).

Hybrids

Hybrids may be legal in more states, but this depends on the generation. In New York State, Savannah cats are legal if they are the F5 generation.

Current States Where Big Cats Are Legal (Whether All Big Cats or Only a Few)

In some of these states, all big cats are legal. In others, only certain ones are. The bolded states in the list below indicates places where most exotics are not regulated. Note that many of these states have insurance and minimum caging requirements.

  • Indiana
  • North Carolina
  • Mississippi (small cats)
  • Missouri (with a permit)
  • Montana (bobcats and lynxes)
  • Nevada
  • North Dakota
  • South Dakota
  • Texas (although most counties have banned it)
  • West Virginia

Most Exotic Birds Are Legal

Commonly kept herbivorous birds (hookbills, small softbills) are mostly legal in all states, including California, despite its extensive bans against "exotic" pets. Several species are even legal in Hawaii! But some must be banded, and you should have a permit.

Parrots and pet softbills fit nearly every definition of "exotic" animals: they are not domesticated (despite extensive captive breeding), so they retain most of their wild behaviors and are high-maintenance, even somewhat difficult, pets.

In warmer climates, it is possible for pet releases and escapees to result in feral populations that threaten the environment. Birds even bite, which other exotic pets, regardless of size, are never allowed to do without resulting in people pushing for bans against them.

Quaker parrots, also known as monk parakeets, are unusually invasive in temperate climates and are illegal in California, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Hawaii, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Wyoming for this reason.

Raptors, geese, and other native wild birds are regulated by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and cannot be held without a permit.

Quaker parrots are invasive in northern states.

Quaker parrots are invasive in northern states.

Non-Domesticated Canines

The only canines that are kept privately in the U.S. are wolves, wolf hybrids, and fox species. Hyenas are sometimes present, although these are more closely related to cats than dogs.

Wolfs and Wolf Hybrids

Like big cats, wolves are illegal in most states. Wolf dogs are rarely excluded from the definition, and sometimes purebred dogs are euthanized merely due to the resemblance to their wild ancestors. One exception is in Arizona, where they are legal.

Here is a list of legality status for both the wolf and wolf-dog hybrid. The website may not contain the most up-to-date information, but it is a good place to start.

Foxes

Foxes are legal in more states, and some states may allow the hard-to-find Russian domesticated fox. Fennec foxes are common exotic mammal pets that are legal in New York (the definition of wild animal specifically excludes them). Fennec foxes pose zero threat to public safety and should be legal in nearly all states without question.

Fennec foxes are legal in many more states than foxes (red, silver, arctic) and wolves. New York specifically excludes them from the definition of a "wild" animal. They are also legal in: Ohio, Florida, Wisconsin, Arkansas, and Michigan, and there are likely to be others.

Mustelidae (Ferrets, Weasels, Polecats, Asian Clawed Otters)

Animals in this category are not commonly kept as pets with the obvious exception of ferrets, which are domesticated. Despite domestication and the fact that they pose no threat to public safety at all, ferrets are illegal in California and Washington D.C. No other states except Hawaii have banned these animals, though they are illegal in New York City and a permit is needed for them in Rhode Island. Ferrets are widely kept as pets in California (to the point where many pet stores find it economical to stock supplies for the animal) despite the law and do not run the risk of becoming feral and invasive in that state.

Other mustelids are not legal in many states.

Skunks, Bats, and Raccoons

These animals are grouped together because they are popular rabies vectors, which is the reason they are regulated (and often prohibited) in many states, despite there being no cases of captive-bred animals harboring the virus.

Skunks

Based on this list, which should be verified for updated information, skunks are legal in Alabama, Florida (where a class 3 permit is required), Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio (permit needed), Oklahoma (import permit and vet needed), Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Skunks should be considered illegal until verified otherwise.

Raccoons

Captive-bred (not from the wild) raccoons may be legal in the following states, but be sure to confirm that is the case before getting one.

Bats

For bats, laws must be examined carefully. They are probably not legal in most states.

where-are-exotic-pets-legal

Non-Human Primates

Primates consist of monkeys, lesser and great apes (gibbons, chimpanzees), and prosimians (lemurs, bush babies, tarsiers, slow loris). Most states have bans on this entire group of animals, with smaller species not being excluded. Primate owners often suffer a nightmare existence with the laws regarding non-human primates. Check your laws extensively (as well as the highly specialized care of these animals) before considering a primate.

States Where Non-Human Primates Are Legal

This list may be shorter now or become shorter in time. Some states, including Ohio, have partial bans on specific species.

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • North Dakota
  • South Carolina
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin

Other Exotics: Kinkajous, Sloths, Muntjac Deer, Tamandua, Porcupine, Etc.

The legality of animals like these varies tremendously. For instance, while kinkajous are mainly frugivorous (fruit-eating), their species falls within the order of Carnivora, which some states ban. Others may ban Procyonidae, which is the order that contains raccoons. Animals like muntjac deer could be regulated with other deer, despite their small size. Be sure to check if there are laws regarding cervids, the family that includes deer. Special laws may also regulate exotic rodents, which can be as small as door mice and as large as capybaras. However, sometimes exotic pets can escape bans if they are not specifically classified in the writing. In New York, some uncommon exotics are still legal because they do not fall under the definition of felids, canines, and bears (such as spotted genets).

Sugar Gliders

Sugar gliders are exotic pets that are more common and unfortunately offered to owners who may be unprepared to take on the care of an animal that is more demanding than other pets of a similar size, such as hamsters and gerbils. But there is certainly no reason to ban them, especially in states where it is impossible for them to survive outdoors (most states).

Sugar gliders are illegal in Alaska, California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, and Utah. Pennsylvania considers them "wild animals" and requires a permit.

Fish

States that ban some fish species do so for environmental reasons, such as protecting native species or the fear that a fish will become invasive if released. Some restricted species in many states include snakeheads (Channa sp.), walking catfish, and lampreys, which have caused massive ecological damage in some parts of the U.S. Banned species are numerous, and vary tremendously in different states.

Here is a list of restricted aquatic species by state. As always, double check the information you find here to make sure it is up to date. Even if a species is not listed under those banned by state law, it may still be illegal to sell, buy, possess, or transfer due to non-state regulations, such as federal law, CITES, the Lacy Act, or the Invasive Species Act. Many of these species are not commonly kept in the pet trade.

Making sure you are aware of regulations is important—not only for you, but for the well-being of your fish. Fish that are in violation of the law can be put to death, even if they were legal at the time you purchased it (for example, this man's well-cared for pet fish of 10 years was killed because of changing regulations).

Notable Pet Fish Species

  • Koi fish and goldfish are illegal in the state of Maine.
  • Glofish are illegal in California.
  • Piranhas are illegal in almost half of the states.
  • Freshwater stingrays are illegal in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Mississippi, Nevada, Oklahoma, Texas, and Utah.
Snakeheads are illegal in many states due to their aggressive invasive tendencies.

Snakeheads are illegal in many states due to their aggressive invasive tendencies.

Reptiles

Larger reptiles, such as large constrictor snakes, crocodilians, and monitor lizards, are the most commonly restricted reptiles. Venomous snakes (often erroneously described as "poisonous"), for obvious reasons, are as well.

Other reptiles may be restricted for health reasons. Red-eared sliders, for instance, are illegal to sell under four inches (but can be kept) in order to reduce the risk of their transmitting salmonella. Non-native reptiles are illegal to keep in Hawaii because of their potential to live in that climate.

  • Crocodilians (alligators, caimans): Illegal in most states.
  • Large constrictors (African rock python, Burmese python, Reticulated python, Anaconda): More and more states are banning these somewhat popular species. Florida is famous for its population of Burmese pythons that exist in the Everglades, but over 90% of the country's climate is inhospitable to the animals.
  • Venomous reptiles (cobra, mamba, Gila monster, twig snakes, etc.): Illegal in Tennessee, Vermont, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, New Hampshire, Washington, Florida, Indiana, Iowa Missouri, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Washington, California, Connecticut, and likely others.
A mamba (venomous)

A mamba (venomous)

Before You Buy, Call Your State's Fish and Game Department

This article cannot guarantee which specific species are legal in every state because laws change frequently. In addition, it is imperative that you make sure that the animal you are seeking is legal also in your city, town, neighborhood's association, etc., as well as with your landlord, as violating the law with these entities can also result in your pet's confiscation.

Be sure to call your Fish and Wildlife Management Office. Do not attempt to keep pets illegally. Doing so will prevent you from being able to get your animals vet care and put them at risk of being seen by a neighbor and others. While it might be ineffective, make sure your voice is heard regarding the opposition of draconian exotic pet laws.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

Questions & Answers

Question: Is it legal to own a fennec fox in arizona?

Answer: No, exotic canids aside from wolfdogs are illegal.

Question: Can you own a caracal cat in Connecticut?

Answer: No.

Question: Would I need a permit to own a coati or kinkajou in the state or Rhode Island?

Answer: Rhode Island only gives permits to accredited zoos. They have a small list of animals that don't require a permit, like typical domestic pets.

Question: Are lemurs legal to own as pets in North Carolina?

Answer: Yes, but they must be purchased within the state.

Question: Can you own a fox squirrel in Mississippi?

Answer: Fox squirrels are native animals so you will have to ensure they are legal by calling your state's department of fish and game. I cannot find any exotic animal ordinance that mentions squirrels, but they are likely covered under 'wildlife' or 'game' laws.

Question: Can you own an otter in South Carolina?

Answer: No.

Question: Is it legal to own a toucan in Alabama?

Answer: Probably.

Question: Which states are crocodilians legal in?

Answer: That depends on the type. Alligators are illegal in more states than exotic crocs like some caiman species.

Question: Are lemurs legal to own as a pet in the United States?

Answer: Lemurs are legal in a small number of states, including Ohio, Nevada, Florida, and North Carolina. They cannot be transported, exported, or imported over state lines because they are an endangered species.

Question: Can you own an otter in Connecticut?

Answer: No. Most northeastern states don't allow exotic pets.

Question: Could I get a permit for any illegal pet?

Answer: No, only special circumstances will allow most state agencies to give pet permits to people. These permits are generally restricted to educational purposes, exhibition, and scientific purposes.

Question: Can you own a monkey in California?

Answer: No.

Question: Are fennec foxes legal pets in Pennsylvania?

Answer: PA has strange rules that make most exotics illegal.

Question: Can you own a seal or sea lion?

Answer: No, there is a Federal law against owning marine mammals.

Question: Are lemurs legal to own as pets in California?

Answer: No.

Question: Do I need a license to own a boa constrictor?

Answer: No, not in most states.

Question: Can I own a sloth anywhere in the United States?

Answer: No, but there are quite a few states that allow it.

Question: Are sloths legal to own anywhere?

Answer: Yes, there are many states where they are legal.

Question: Can you own a hyena in Texas?

Answer: Hyenas are classified as dangerous wild animals in Texas.

"A person may not own, harbor, or have custody or control of a dangerous wild animal for any purpose unless the person holds a certificate of registration for that animal issued by an animal registration agency."

Question: Can you own a bush baby in Florida with or without a license?

Answer: You will need a Class 3 permit to own one.

Question: Is it legal to own a tarantula in Georgia?

Answer: Yes.

Question: Are lemurs legal to own as pets in Arizona?

Answer: No.

Question: Are rusty spotted cats legal pets in California?

Answer: No.

Question: How do you get a permit for a sugar glider in Pennsylvania?

Answer: Contact the authorities, but it is very hard to get them to let you have one.

Question: Can you own a genet in NY State?

Answer: Yes.

Question: What state has the least restrictive laws regarding exotic pets?

Answer: That depends on what animals you are talking about. Nevada and North Carolina are good for many large carnivores. Florida is good for smaller exotic pets including those that are illegal in the aforementioned states because they issue obtainable permits.

Question: Are ringtail cats legal to own in Florida?

Answer: I believe so, with a Class 3 permit.

Question: Can you own a capybara in South Carolina?

Answer: I think so.

Question: Can you own a tree kangaroo in Pennsylvania?

Answer: Yes, but you would need a permit.

Question: Can I own a caracal in Arizona?

Answer: No, all animals in the group carnivora are illegal except wolfdogs.

Question: Is there any state with no laws at all regarding exotic pets?

Answer: No. Even Nevada, where elephants and lions are legal, has a ban on foxes. All states have prohibitions on something. The most commonly banned animals are primates, native animals, extremely invasive animals, rabies vectors, venomous reptiles, and large carnivores.

Question: Are sea lions legal to own in Wisconsin?

Answer: Sea lions are Federally illegal to own.

Question: Can you own a wallaby in Ohio?

Answer: Yes, you can own a wallaby in Ohio.

Question: Can I get own an elephant in PA?

Answer: No.

Question: Is it legal to own a sea lion as a pet in South Carolina?

Answer: It's not legal to own a sea lion in the U.S.

Question: Are servals legal in Arizona?

Answer: No, all of carnivora is illegal except certain hybrids.

Question: Is it legal to own a lemur in Georgia?

Answer: Definitely not.

Question: Is it legal to own any Fox in South Carolina?

Answer: No.

Question: Can a monkey, penny lizard, or parrot be legally kept as a pet in the state of Texas?

Answer: Yes.

Question: Are corn snakes illegal to own in Illinois as a pet?

Answer: No.

Question: Are red tail boas legal in South Carolina?

Answer: Yes.

Question: Is it illegal to own a genet in Georgia?

Answer: Yes.

© 2013 Melissa A Smith

Comments- Add to this list! Do you know of any laws that are not correctly listed here?

ananomus on September 07, 2020:

Can you own a Asian leopard cat in Texas ?

dawsonsoest on September 05, 2020:

In nevada do i need a permit to have a false water cobra

Adriana on August 15, 2020:

Sloths are also legal in very many places in the United States.

maddz on August 12, 2020:

Can I own a tarantula in michigan without a permit?

Melissa A Smith (author) from New York on August 01, 2020:

George: Probably

Melissa A Smith (author) from New York on August 01, 2020:

dirthawker: This is a late reply, but I can't tel if that bill was enacted or not.

Emma on July 23, 2020:

What states are Genets legal in?

drake on July 04, 2020:

can you own a tamandua in tennessee without a license

Rock on June 26, 2020:

What state you can own a caiman in?

Zsófika on June 25, 2020:

Are fennecs or genets legal in New Mexico?

Cassie on June 25, 2020:

Is it Illegal to Have a Pet Lemur in Wisconsin as a Exotic Animal?

Cassie on June 25, 2020:

Is it Illegal to Have a Pet Lemur in Wisconsin as a Exotic Animal?

Zack on June 16, 2020:

Is caimans legal in tn

Draco on June 11, 2020:

Can you own marauder ants in Nebraska?

Makiah on June 09, 2020:

what states can i own a kinkajou in?

Sanish on June 04, 2020:

Can i own a tiger and a lion at a same time in nevada does it have any requirements?

George on May 26, 2020:

Can I own a wallaby in Ohio?

Gwen on May 24, 2020:

Can you own a goat in the state of nevada?

Ty on May 15, 2020:

We’re can I own a hyena

Samantha on May 10, 2020:

Can you own a cougar a serval a caracal a bobcat a Asian leopard cat and leopard in Indiana???????????

Akira on May 02, 2020:

Can I own a Genet in Louisiana???

luke on April 27, 2020:

can I have a lemur in Cali

Melissa A Smith (author) from New York on April 20, 2020:

Yes.

hello on April 18, 2020:

Are lemurs legal in Nevada I want to live there when I grow up

Zsofika on April 05, 2020:

Sugar gliders are legal in NM, you just need a permit

Donovan on March 27, 2020:

I was looking all over the internet and I can't seem to find an answer, so I came to ask you, are viverrids, such as the Asian Palm Civet, legal in NewYork State? And if you could please list all exotic pets that are legal in NewYork State, that would be nice, but you don't have to if you don't want.

becca on March 03, 2020:

Can you own a dingo in michigan?

freeshavakadoo on February 29, 2020:

is it legal to have a fox hybrid in Oklahoma?

Melissa A Smith (author) from New York on February 21, 2020:

Tannia leal Yes

Tannia leal on February 20, 2020:

Can you own a bush baby in Texas?

Karen wingate on January 05, 2020:

Are bush babies legal to own in tennessee??

Logan on December 26, 2019:

Can i own a black bear in west virginia

Mimi on December 25, 2019:

Are Bush babies illegal in California

Skylah on December 15, 2019:

Can I own a bush Viper in ohio legally

Cohen Hess on November 21, 2019:

Can I have a Ocelot in Mississippi?

It’s a secret on November 02, 2019:

Can you own a caracal in the state of Michigan?

Elena Hickman on October 20, 2019:

Are genets legal in South Carolina?

Hi on October 08, 2019:

So are bengals allowed in Nevada? I have searched it many times and still cant get an exact answer

Margarita on September 22, 2019:

Can I own any type of Fox in the state of Texas?

Melissa A Smith (author) from New York on August 18, 2019:

Tyson: Maybe Japan.

tyson on August 13, 2019:

where can u own a sea lion

Bet on August 06, 2019:

Can i have an elephants

could be anyone on July 19, 2019:

is it legal to own a humped back whale in Nevada?

Peyton on June 19, 2019:

What types of foxes can I have in Iowa if any?

Tiyone Peter on May 17, 2019:

Is it legal in the state of Texas

Shane on May 14, 2019:

Where can I buy a spotted Janet and can you own a spotted Janet in Maine

Bee on May 01, 2019:

Can you own serveral cats fennec foses and whiite fox in tennessee

Emma on March 26, 2019:

Could I buy a boa constrictor in Colorado

Somebody Else on March 21, 2019:

Are cheetahs allowed in PA?

VibezZ on March 19, 2019:

Are bush vipers allowed in NC?

Kirby on March 16, 2019:

What states allow Bush Babies as pets?

Ethan on January 17, 2019:

Is it illegal to have a ringtail lramers

Morgan on January 11, 2019:

Is it legal to own a rusty spotted cat in Virginia?

Pope on November 16, 2018:

Can you own a bush baby in South Carolina?

Ville on November 07, 2018:

Is it legal to have a arctic fox in California Arizona Garland logan brigham or tremontan

Zachary felzer on September 27, 2018:

is it legal to own a raccoon in California?

Joshua on September 02, 2018:

Is it legal to own a black bear in arizona Joshua

Apothose on August 22, 2018:

Little but weirder of a queston then al these others... Why does nothing tell me where i can own a crocodile. This is very important

Surprize Toyz And Mor on August 13, 2018:

Is it possible to have an ant eater as a pet in Tennessee

luke on August 11, 2018:

is legal to own a giant millpede in washington

Gracie Bradshaw on August 10, 2018:

Is it legal to own a river otter in Montana?

Garrett Nowak on July 25, 2018:

Is it legal to own a bush baby in Michigan?

PAM on July 08, 2018:

Is it legal to own a Savannah Monitor in Alabama as a pet??

Rocketman619 on June 22, 2018:

I live in Fremont CA.

Is it legal to own a Bobcat?

Carlt on June 14, 2018:

Can you own a silky anteater or a Tamandua in Missouri?

Caddy on May 16, 2018:

Hey there I’ve been having a LOT of issues lately. I’m aware Ringtail Lemurs are allowed in North Carolina HOWEVER. I cannot seem to find out, how to get a license or the requirements in North Carolina. May you help me? It would mean a lot.

Melissa A Smith (author) from New York on May 15, 2018:

Jaden lol

Jaden on May 14, 2018:

Love how these default profile picks make everyone look extra shady.

Logan on May 13, 2018:

Can yoy own a iguana in south dakota

Chase on May 05, 2018:

Can you legally own an emu in the state of Arizona?

Camryn on May 05, 2018:

is it illegal for squirrels in michigan?

Rachael on April 17, 2018:

Can you own a marmoset monkey in Arkansas or without a licences

Lola on April 10, 2018:

Can you have a pet bat in Georgia

Michele on April 03, 2018:

I WANT A BUSHBABY!!!!!!

Melissa A Smith (author) from New York on March 13, 2018:

Romgirl801 Ok thanks

Romgirl801 on March 09, 2018:

Sugar Gliders are actually legal to own in Utah and have been for a while. Just FYI. We own 4 ourselves.

If I were to move, where can I have an alligator, wolf, a big cat, a squirell, and a pirhana in the U.S. on February 20, 2018:

This was an amazing article, but I believe all animals deserve to be equally treated or all set free

Douglas on January 14, 2018:

Are we allowed to own pet monkeys in Pennsylvania?

Ilse on January 11, 2018:

I found your article very interesting. I really do love animals more than anything. And personally I believe "Wild animals" are called wild animals for a reason. They belong in nature. Because no matter how much land you give them they are wild and will get tired of running then having to stop because of a cage. For lots of wild animals such as animals of the canine or feline family can show signs of stress being retrained even if you give them large areas. Now of course I understand if a wild animal is injured and cannot survive on its own it will need help which is understandably okay. But this is my personal opinion. We are all in title to our own.

jendrea000@Yahoo.com on December 27, 2017:

Exotic animals extracted from their natural environment afect the local natural system. Many suffer or died during transportation. They born free and they will always miss their home or their intuitive wilderness environments.

Do we want to be under someone's capricious? I will say not for most of us, definitely not for most of the exotic animals.

Our liberties end when the others living beings start.

Joshua DeLeon on December 03, 2017:

Why are lemurs illegal in Oregon and can i change that

kim on November 29, 2017:

are monitor lizards illegal in North Carolina

especially Charlotte

{•XX_Fennec fox small•.XX} on November 09, 2017:

Nice!

Matt on November 09, 2017:

The United States is not a free country. We have so many laws and regulations that are ridiculous. As long as I am not hurting or bothering anyone then what is the problem. I want a Caracal but they are banned in alot of states. If you are responsible and take care of your animals then there's no problem.

draya on November 07, 2017:

are otters legal in south carolina

Michael Biscut on October 13, 2017:

What are the restrictions on Wallabies in Michigan? I can't find much info online.

Michael B on October 13, 2017:

What is the regulations for Wallabys in Michigan? I can't find much info online.

dirthawker from Washington State on August 12, 2017:

On your "States where non-human primates are legal" you listed Washington. I am fairly certain all non-human primates are and have been illegal for quite a few years.

Section 4 says: "(1) A person shall not own, possess, keep,

harbor, bring into the state, or have custody or control of a potentially dangerous wild animal"

Section 1 lists all non-human primates.

http://lawfilesext.leg.wa.gov/biennium/2007-08/Pdf... c 238 § 4.

Capy on July 26, 2017:

Hi, I agree with you. It's fine to have "wild animals" as you're exotic pets. God has given us human beings dominion over the animals. We can eat them, kill them, or have them as pets. Okay, animal activists protest against me all you want. When God gave humanity dominion over the animals, it was in order to care for, tend to, and use those animals to their fullest potential in a just manner. At the time that God gave mankind dominion over the animals, humans did not eat meat (Genesis 1:29). Eating meat did not begin until after the Flood (Genesis 9:1–3), and it was at that time that animals started to fear humans. However, although God changed the way we interact with animals, in that they are now “meat,” we still bear a responsibility to treat animals humanely. I love exotic animals, as I love on an exotic farm.

Spatz on July 22, 2017:

This is slightly incorrect Wisconsin probably has the loosest laws since there are no restrictions on what animals you can own besides federally banned animals

Melissa A Smith (author) from New York on July 14, 2017:

Uncle Sven: Probably. I think you can have them in most states.

Uncle Sven on July 11, 2017:

Can you own an Emu in Illinois?

Andrew Jefferson Pangilinan on July 02, 2017:

Is it legal to own a elephant

natasha dupuis on June 16, 2017:

i think that the fennec fox is super adorable

Susjdjdj on June 13, 2017:

Just a question can you have over 26 pets in Iowa because I want to know a limit because I'm getting lizards and squirrels

Jones people like pets so get ur grubby little hand away form ur phone on June 13, 2017:

I own a lion 4 birds 5 dogs snakes mice hamsters cats I have a lot of animals that I love and they love me back

Ringneck on June 09, 2017:

Is it legal without a permit to have a pet ring-necked dove in Nevada

ABWells on June 06, 2017:

Being a pet owner isnt for everyone. Be it exotic pets or mainstream pets. Its a lot of work regardless. And the same could be said of a pet owner of at cat or dog. The fact of the matter is the reason most people have pets is for thier own purpose. So bet it a cat, hedgehog, lizard, snake, hamster, rabbit or what have you its mostly to make the owner feel better. And a lot of times people arnt ready to do whats needed for the pet. So Mr. Jones.. If you dont mind me asking what the reason you have a normal pet??? Is it companionship?? Or maybe cuteness?? A gift for a child or spouse?? Or you just like them?? The inital reson is usally for self.

Katie on May 31, 2017:

Where would Sloths come into class or are they allowed in Tennessee?

GalaxyRat on May 12, 2017:

Nice list, I have been thinking about getting an exotic animals for a while. I want to get a fox, capybara, or a leopard cat (although those are endangered and I wouldn't be helping by adopting one. Unless I bred them, but you get the point!).

Nice Hub! Keep up the good work!