Legalize hedgehogs as a pet in California
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Hedgehogs are legal to have as pets in forty six states, one of those states not being California (the other three being Georgia, Hawaii, and Nebraska). The reason for this is because hedgehogs do not fall under the list of legal pets to own in California which is decided by the CA Department of Fish and Game, which makes them illegal to own in California. If a resident of California is caught with a pet hedgehog, they may be fined and confiscated of their pet.
Some of the reasons people argue that hedgehogs should not be allowed as household pets are because they are afraid that these little animals might carry certain diseases, or pierce people’s skin with their quills or sharp spines. But unlike porcupines, hedgehogs cannot shoot their quills out in defense nor are their quills as hard or sharp. Hedgehogs have those quills incase they are threatened, they will curl up in a ball and make it uncomfortable for the predator to eat or attack them. As far as a fear for diseases that hedgehogs might carry, if they became legal in California we would have legal breeders who are professionals and trained to prevent things that might be harmful to the environment. Instead, now there are illegal breeders in the state who are not sure what they are exposing to the people buying these animals.
Hedgehogs are also a lot easier to maintain than most people think. Just like you would do with rats, guinea pigs, or hamsters (which are all legal in California); hedgehogs require a cage, wood chips, water, and maybe a little wheel that they can run on if they are inside of the cage. Hedgehogs do love to eat, so just like dogs, it is important for them to get their exercise one way or another, if not they will become obese and have deficiencies. A good diet for hedgehogs would be high-quality cat food, and treats such as various fruits, vegetables, and even unseasoned raw meats are good. Another plus about owning a pet hedgehog is that most of them tend to naturally designate an area in their cage to use the bathroom which makes their cage a lot easier to clean out. Other than cleaning the cage when it needs to be cleaned, hedgehogs should be given a bath when they have dry skin or look a little dirty because they do not groom or clean themselves. With that being said, hedgehogs love to swim and float around in their baths. All you need for the baths are a sink, soap or shampoo, a soft toothbrush, and warm water.
These prickly pets loved to be cared for. As long as the owner is prepared to give the pet time and attention, the hedgehog can become very attached and loyal. After a good amount of interaction, hedgehogs begin to respond to their owner's voice. Many times when hedgehogs are threatened or frightened by something, they will curl up until they feel that they are safe. One way for them to feel safe is by hearing the voice of their owner, or sometimes even just smelling the owner’s scent.
There would be no great danger to own a hedgehog in California, just like forty six of the states in the US do not see any danger. If they were legal there would be many great benefits to owning them as pets. I’m sure people can always come up with reasons why they should stay illegal as pets such as hedgehogs being wild animals, or rodents, or even the fact that their quills can be harmful to people. But in that same sense, rats and mice are rodents and wild naturally, and dogs and cats can be dangerous if bitten or clawed by one. There is no real reason for pet hedgehogs to be illegal in California, and because they are not on the list of “legal” pets in California, they are forbidden to own. These cute animals should be legal to own and cared for by many in California and the the other three states that do not allow them as well. There is no harm or downside in allowing people to own them.
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