Our furry and finned friends make life a little more fun. Always happy to see you when you come home, a great reason to exercise and all that unconditional love – who doesn’t need that?
But there are some pets that, no matter how cute or impressive they seem, are non-starters when it comes to keeping as pets. Some are transported in cruel and inhumane conditions, some pose a threat to their would-be owners and others are just plain bad ideas for the average family. Is it worth breaking the law for a pet? Probably not.
1. Sugar gliders
Not quite birds, not quite squirrels but possessing adorable attributes of both, sugar gliders are tiny creatures that look like the perfect magical pet for kids. They’re so small, how much trouble could they case? A lot, it turns out. Sugar gliders are nocturnal and live in trees, meaning they need a lot of space compared to how big they are. They’re also incredibly noisy.
Some states, like Pennsylvania, require a permit to keep a sugar glider as a pet; seven other states including Alaska, Massachusetts and Utah, have outlawed them altogether. There are also concerns that, if they were to get outside, sugar gliders can be a threat to their new habitats and the flora and fauna living there.
Prickly little balls of spikes, hedgehogs don’t shoot quills but they’re not exactly huggable either. Native to Africa, hedgehogs have only recently become a trendy pet, but they’re not good for all homes. Their quills can get stuck in skin and are not all that easy to remove; they also cover their quills with spit balls to mask their scent and camouflage themselves from predators. Hedgehogs also can carry pathogenic bacteria including Salmonella , which can cause gastrointestinal illnesses.
They are illegal to keep as pets in Georgia, California, Hawaii, Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C. and all of New York City.