Animal laws » 5 animals That are Illegal as Pets In California » 5 pets That room Illegal together Pets In California

Posted on respectable 8, 2021

California has actually some the the toughest laws on exotic pet in the nation. Just Hawaii’s regulations are an ext restrictive. The California Fish and Game Code renders it a misdemeanor to store as a pet any animal that isendangered or which the department considersa hazard to public health and safety or to native fish, wildlife, or agriculture.

You are watching: Is it legal to own a fennec fox in california

Many of these limitations seem obvious – such as restrictions on owning lions, tigers or bears. However,given that virtually anything goes once you overcome the border right into Nevada, the penalties can record some pets ownersoff-guard. While thoseliving on the east side the Lake Tahoe can legally very own a wide range of animals,those on the California side who have so lot as a hedgehog face penalties that can include:

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

Fortunately, civilization are hardly ever prosecuted for illegal possession the exotic animals in California. However, the state that California has actually the ideal to take any kind of unlawful pet far from you. Relying on the species, this can an outcome in your illegal California pet beingrehabilitated and released into the wild,sent to a treatment facility, or evenbeing sold to a laboratory or euthanized.

So before you go bringing that pet street glider, fur-ranch fox or Quaker parakeet right into California, it payment to know that they are illegal pet in California. Likewise illegal room these five cute and also popular — yet prohibited — critters:



California is among the few states that prohibit pet ownership of ferrets.

Ferrets areMustelids, the biological family that also includes otters, mink, weasels, and also polecats. Trained originally because that vermin control, they now make exceptionally popular pets and also are legal in all or parts of every state except California and also Hawaii.

Despite intensive lobbying to legalize ferrets in California, however, you can not legally save a ferret in California without a permit. Although debated by ferret lovers, the California room Fish of Wildlife bring away the positionthat escaped or abandoned pet ferrets posea far-ranging risk to California’s rare indigenous animals and also birds. As a result, ferrets can not be legit imported, transported or possessed in California except by a allow issued for a specific, legal purpose — together as medical research or delivering rescued ferrets out of state.

Note the ferrets space legal under most state laws consisting of Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, new Jersey, phibìc Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, Wyoming, and also more.



Hedgehogs can be dangerous come people and are as such illegal to keep as pet in California.

Another well-known pet that is legit in many states is the hedgehog. Hedgehogs arecute nocturnal mammalseasily known by your quills which, uneven those on a porcupine, carry out not readilydetach from your bodies.

Nevertheless,the quills can still penetrate skin and hedgehogs have the right to transmit diseases such together ringworm and salmonella come humans. Prefer ferrets, however, themain reason hedgehogsare illegal in California, however, is because of the risk escaped and abandoned hedgehogs posture to native wildlife.



Only zoos and scientists have the right to keep chimpanzees in California.

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

In California, monkeys and also other primates can only be own by qualified people issued a allow for a details legal function – such as training monkeys to do in film and also television productions or for use in clinical research.



Squirrels eat virtually anything, i beg your pardon is partly why they space illegal to keep as pet in California.

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

However, squirrels have very sharp nails and also teeth and, unlike domesticated mammals, no chew inhibition reflex. This method that squirrels will eat anything the looks tasty – including wall surface paper, dried wall, furniture, junk food, and also even their very own waste.

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

While the is against the regulation to feed a squirrel, however,it is legit in some countiesto hunt California tree squirrels in season. Prior to killing a squirrel – or other pets such as rabbits, hares or jackrabbits that deserve to be legally hunted in California – it is finest to check with the California department of Fish and Wildlife to ensure the it is both legit in her county and also the suitable hunting season.



Gerbils can not be lawfully maintained as pets in California.

Like ferrets, gerbils are popular pets in the united States.However, California’s climate is comparable to a gerbil’s organic desert habitat. As a result, state officials are pertained to that gerbils that escape or space released right into the wild can establish feral nests that would damage crops and native plants and animals. This makes keeping a gerbil illegal in California.

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

According come the California code of regulation (CCR) 671, pet ownership of the following animals is additionally illegal without a one-of-a-kind permit: Raccoons, skunks, alligators, lemurs, zebras, particular venomous reptiles, prairie dogs, wolf hybrids (wolf-dogs), huge cats such together bobcats, servals, and also cheetahs. The factors for this restrictions have to do with security of organic resources, native species, and also the ecosystem.


Call our law firm for legal advice. Us offer cost-free consultations.

See more: What Is The Relationship Between Temperature And Altitude In The Troposphere?

We expect you will never confront the loss of a beloved pet or criminal fees for keeping an illegal pet in California. If friend do, yet – or if girlfriend or a loved one is charged through a violation the California’s pet cruelty legislations – we are here to help. We space headquartered in Los Angeles however have offices throughout the state. Simply contact us via the type on this web page or speak to our nearest office because that a free consultation with among our caring California criminal defense lawyers. (See our related article, What is pet Abuse in California?)

About the Author


Neil Shouse

A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated v honors native UC Berkeley and also Harvard law School (and completed added graduate researches at MIT). He has actually been featured ~ above CNN, an excellent Morning America, Dr Phil, Court TV, The this day Show and Court TV. Mr Shouse has been known by the nationwide Trial Lawyers as among the optimal 100 Criminal and Top 100 civil Attorneys.