Are Hedgehogs Legal in Minnesota?

If you’ve ever considered owning a hedgehog as a pet, one of the first questions that may come to mind is whether or not they are legal in your state. Specifically, if you reside in Minnesota, it’s crucial to understand the laws and regulations regarding hedgehog ownership. This blog post will dive into the topic of hedgehog legality in Minnesota and provide some insights for those who are interested in bringing these adorable spiky creatures into their homes.

Before delving into the specifics of hedgehog legality within Minnesota, it’s important to have a general understanding of exotic pet laws. Different states impose various restrictions on keeping exotic animals as pets due to concerns about public safety and potential environmental impact. These laws aim to regulate which species can be kept legally while ensuring that animals’ welfare is protected.

As of writing this blog post, hedgehogs are indeed legal to own as pets within the state of Minnesota. However, it wasn’t always this way – until 2019, possessing a hedgehog was illegal unless you obtained a permit from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Fortunately for eager prospective owners, that has since changed.

In April 2019, Governor Tim Walz signed an omnibus bill repealing several outdated wildlife-related statutes. Among them was an amendment eliminating the previous restrictions on owning African pygmy hedgehogs without requiring any special permits anymore.

This change means anyone residing in Minnesota can now bring home a delightful little hedgie without jumping through bureaucratic hoops or worrying about facing penalties for non-compliance with wildlife regulations.

Although they are now legal pets within Minnesota’s borders, responsible ownership remains paramount when keeping hedgehogs. These spiny little creatures require specific care and attention to ensure their well-being. Here are a few essential aspects of responsible hedgehog ownership:

1. Research: Before bringing a hedgehog home, it’s crucial to thoroughly research their needs, behavior, diet, and habitat requirements. Understanding their unique characteristics will help you provide the best possible care for your new pet.

2. Veterinary Care: Just like any other pet, regular veterinary check-ups are vital for hedgehogs’ health. Find an exotic animal veterinarian experienced in working with these small mammals to ensure they receive proper medical attention when needed.

3. Suitable Habitat: Hedgehogs need spacious enclosures that include hiding spots, exercise wheels or toys, appropriate bedding materials (avoid pine or cedar), and a temperature-regulated environment within 72-80°F (22-26°C). Providing them with ample space and enrichment is essential for promoting their physical and mental well-being.

4. Proper Diet: Hedgehogs have specific dietary requirements that consist of high-quality commercial hedgehog food supplemented with insects such as mealworms or crickets as treats. It’s important not to feed them foods that are toxic or harmful.

To sum up, if you’re a resident of Minnesota interested in owning a hedgehog as a pet – great news! Hedgehogs are now legal pets within the state without requiring special permits from the DNR since 2019. However, it remains crucial to approach hedgehog ownership responsibly by conducting proper research on care requirements and ensuring all their needs are met throughout their lives.