What Pets Are Illegal In California?

Posted by Raoul Severo | Jul 15, 2020 | 0 Comments

Domesticating animals might be a personal choice in other countries but not in California. Here are some sets of laws that endow the citizens with a list of legal and illegal animals that can be kept as pets. If you are keeping an endangered animal or an animal that is not much human-amiable or else a pet hazardous to native wildlife, agriculture, or fish, then California law considers you a misdemeanor.

Though a few restrictions are genuine as it was never safe to own lions, tigers, or bears. After stepping into the land of Nevada, a pet owner can become a victim of penalties without any prior information. But, the laws around the east of Lake Tahoe allow residents to keep a large array of animals. Yet, keeping an exotic pet like Hedgehog can bring a lot of penalties for the owner when he or she steps into California. Before you bring your pet fur-ranch fox, Quaker parakeet, or your sugar glider into the state of California, you need to check the list of following few critters and animals that come under the prohibition category.

Fish And Game Code: List Of Illegal Pets In California

Having a long structure of 13 divisions, Fish and Game code comprises a large array of animals under Listing of Endangered species in the following California book of rules and regulations.

  • CA FISH & G § 2070
  • CA FISH & G § 2071
  • CA FISH & G § 2071.5
  • CA FISH & G § 2072
  • CA FISH & G § 2072.3
  • CA FISH & G § 2072.7
  • CA FISH & G § 2073
  • CA FISH & G § 2073.3
  • CA FISH & G § 2073.4
  • CA FISH & G § 2073.5
  • CA FISH & G § 2073.7
  • CA FISH & G § 2074
  • CA FISH & G § 2074.6
  • CA FISH & G § 2074.2
  • CA FISH & G § 2074.4
  • CA FISH & G § 2074.8
  • CA FISH & G § 2075
  • CA FISH & G § 2075.5
  • CA FISH & G § 2076
  • CA FISH & G § 2076.5
  • CA FISH & G § 2077
  • CA FISH & G § 2078
  • CA FISH & G § 2079
  • CA FISH & G § 2079.1


Here is the list of illegal pets in California keeping which can invite serious charges like misdemeanor for you.

  1. Hedgehogs: Known for their quills, the cute nocturnal mammals, hedgehogs are playful but illegal to keep as pets across the boundaries of California. The basic reason to make the keeping of these creatures illegal as pets is the damage that hedgehogs can do to wildlife if escaped or abandoned. Also, their quills can go through the skin and cause diseases like ringworm or salmonella to human beings.
  2. Monkeys: The second animal that the department of fish and wildlife considers a threat to human safety is primate including the monkeys as well as chimpanzees. These animals are not risky for the human population but can also destroy wildlife as well as agriculture. Only those people can keep them as pets who either have a permit to use them for legal purposes or those who want to train them for performance in television, film, or medical industry.
  3. Ferrets: Belonging to the Mestelids family, ferrets are somewhere identical to mink, weasels, polecats as well as otters. Though people domesticate these ferrets for vermin control a lot yet these are not legal to keep inside the boundaries of California and Hawaii. The department of fish and Wildlife of California suggests that ferrets can pose risk to the native birds as well as animals of California that are rare species. Thus, you will always need a permit to import, transport, or own a ferret in California. For legal proceedings, you can take the help of a criminal attorney so that penalties do not come your way in the future.
  4. Squirrels: You may find it odd, but yes, keeping squirrels as a pet is also illegal in California. As squirrels have no chew inhibition reflex, they can eat anything like your furniture, drywall, junk food, or even wallpaper. Their sharp nails and teeth make them imperfect for domestication. Under section 251.1 of California Fish and Game code, keeping squirrels can charge you a fine ranging between $100 to $1000.

Punishments For Fish And Game Code Felony

If California law finds you a misdemeanor under Fish and Game code, then you will have to bear the following fines and penalties.

  • When you are a misdemeanor, then you will get a punishment for the largest of 6 years in the county jail or else the fine up to $1000.
  • Along with this, there is a civil fine that comprises a monetary fine somewhere between $500 and $10000 including the costs coming on storage, care, and removal of the animal.

Though a person in California rarely faces prosecution for domesticating an exotic animal, yet the state of California owns a legal right to take away illegal pets from you. After capturing an exotic pet from you, the department can sell them to laboratories or send for rehabilitation for further release into the wildlife.

In case you were not aware of the penalties and the government considers you a misdemeanor, then contacting a California lawyer is the best fit for you. Use the following super lawyers coupon code: CriminalDefense_07-20 and get a free of charge evaluation of your case


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