Are Sugar Gliders Legal in California?

If you’re considering getting a sugar glider as a pet, it’s important to know whether they are legal in your state. In the case of California, the answer is not quite straightforward.

As of 2021, sugar gliders are technically illegal to own as pets in California under their current exotic animal laws. The state classifies these small marsupials as restricted wildlife due to concerns about potential impacts on native ecosystems and local wildlife populations.

However, there is a possible workaround if you still wish to own a sugar glider in the Golden State. It’s important to note that this option comes with certain restrictions and requires obtaining appropriate permits.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife allows individuals who already owned sugar gliders before January 1st, 2020, to apply for an Exemptee Permit. This permit exempts those individuals from the general prohibition on keeping or importing these animals into the state. However, it also prevents them from breeding or selling them without proper authorization.

If you’re thinking about acquiring a sugar glider illegally without obtaining the necessary permits or licenses, keep in mind that doing so can have serious consequences. Owning an unpermitted exotic animal may result in hefty fines or even criminal charges if discovered by authorities.

Prior to deciding on any pet purchase, always do thorough research regarding your area’s specific laws concerning exotic animals like sugar gliders. Additionally, educate yourself

on the responsibilities and unique needs of sugar gliders as pets. Ensuring you can meet their requirements is crucial for the well-being and happiness of these adorable creatures.

If you find that owning a sugar glider isn’t feasible due to legal restrictions or other reasons, there are plenty of other wonderful pet choices available in California. Consider researching domesticated small mammals like hamsters, guinea pigs, or fancy rats, which make great companions without any legal complications.

Sugar gliders may be illegal to own as pets in California under current exotic animal laws, but individuals who owned them before January 1st, 2020 can apply for an Exemptee Permit. However, it’s always essential to consider the potential risks and responsibilities associated with owning any exotic pet. If sugar gliders aren’t an option for you due to legal restrictions or personal circumstances, remember that there are many other fantastic pet choices available that can bring joy into your life.