Keeping Pouched Rats in the United States – State Law

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    This is the first of a 2 part article about keeping pouched rats in the United States, in part one we will look to list the rules per state and in part 2 we will explore some of the terms and rules across the entire country.

    The Rules for keeping pouched rats appears to differ on a state by state basis with some states being much stricter in their laws.

    We have tried our best to consolidate this information into a single place with what states in the United States permit pouched rats to be kept as pets and what rules are attached.

    While its hard to be certain as information, terminology etc differ on state by state basis, county by county basis and city by city basis we hope this helps some of our US members at least have a glance if they could keep a pouched rat.

    This list will be kept as up to date as possible with relevant contact details for the department of the state responsible for these laws.

    We hold no responsibility for the information below being correct, you should always check with your local state authorities and / or county / city authorities before taking on a pouched rat.

    You should also, if you do find a breeder check the potential states you would be passing through as by driving though a state which has banned them, you may be breaking their state laws and this could result in you being prosecuted, fined and the animal destroyed.

    If you see information below that is wrong, incorrect, or otherwise misleading, please do let us know via our contact page so we can update accordingly.

    State Permitted Contact Notes
    Alabama No
    Alaska No
    Arizona Yes* (602)542-4373 is given as a contact number Specific Bans on, Hutias, Beavers, Coypus, Nutrias, Porcupines, Gophers, Chipmunks, Marmots, Woodchucks, Prairie Dogs, Squirrels (Pouched Rats Not Mentioned)
    Arkansas Yes*
    California No Florida and California have some of the strictest rules regarding keeping exotic animals. There is no specific bans mentioning pouched rats but there is stating only domestic rats can be kept. Again this would depend on how they classify domestic
    Colorado Yes* No Specific Bans mentioned although simular animals are banned so would check first
    Connecticut Yes* Again no specific ban but it would appear that a licence is required for any exotic animals
    Delaware Maybe The state Veterinarian has the right to allow or deny permits to keep exotic animals
    Florida No Florida and California have some of the strictest rules regarding keeping exotic animals.
    Georgia Maybe Start the process by calling 404-656-1776 You will likley need a permit and proof that the pouched rat came from an inspected source. Breeders need a special licence which is hard to obtain.
    Hawaii No Hamsters are banned in Hawaii so pouchies are a big no no
    Idaho No Listed as a banned animal at section 410. of their adminsitation code
    Illinois Yes* They look to ban dangerious and endangered animals only. Chicago looks to have slightly more strict rules
    Indiana Maybe Not Specific to exotic mammals
    Kansas No Most cities appear to Ban exotic animal keeping
    Kentucky Maybe Specific rules on larger dangious animals
    Louisiana No Any non-native exotic animals cannot be kept as pets
    Maryland No cannot keep any exotic animal that is non-native to the state
    Michigan No
    Minnesota Yes* Many cities appear to ban keeping of dangerious animals only as pets
    Mississippi Yes* Looks to ban dangerious animals and keeping of state native animals only
    Missouri Yes* Looks to ban dangerious animals and keeping of state native animals only
    Montana Maybe Not specific on exotic rodents or exotics in general
    Nebraska Maybe The rules state a non-domesticated animal cannot be sold or kept as a pet, “domesticated” being the curious term as if a person could prove a pouched rat is domesticated this could be circumvented
    Nevada Yes Bans include tigers, lions, bears, chimps, monkeys etc only
    New Hampshire
    New Jersey
    New Mexico
    New York Maybe Islip and Massapequa maybe, New York and Rochester have rules specificly banning them in their cities
    North Carolina Maybe Bans on Dangerious exotic mammals but none on specific exotics in most cities, some have tighter rules such as Davidson County which they are banned
    North Dakota
    Ohio Austin Town bans any animals non-native to the US. Other cities are more lax and but may require licences
    Oklahoma Maybe Mainly mentions wild and dangerious animals, nothing on exotics (except broken arrow which does ban them)
    Oregon Yes Bans on larger dangerious animals such as lions, tigers, nothing on small exotics
    Pennsylvania Maybe Rules specific to exotic being an animal “not a household pet” this could be contested with the county
    Rhode Island Yes Specific rules to wild animals not being kept as pets but no mention of exotics
    South Carolina Yes No specific rules here, any wild animals cannot be kept as pet but no mention of exotics
    South Dakota Yes Specific rules of larger dangerious animals and snakes but no exotic small mammals
    Texas Yes General Bans on monkeys, larger dangious animals but not any mention of small exotics in most cities, some cities such as bexar and travis out right ban all exotics. There is a large number of different rules here
    Utah Yes Bans on large snakes, bears and apes, etc only
    Virginia No A rule for warm blooded exotic mammals looks to outlaw keeping them
    Washington Maybe exotic animals look to be banned in most cites. The rules differ per city
    West Virginia Maybe A permit must be applied for a a fee paid.
    Wisconsin No State law prevents keeping of exotic animals as pets

    Our information has been pieced together from various government sources, websites and publications including which has an excellent list of the current rules by state and city.

    Previous Keeping Pouched Rats in the United States – Import and Country Law


    1. Thanks! This helps a bit. Our big challenge here seems to be there are NO breeders. but it’s nice to know I don’t need a permit. Now to find a baby!!

      • Hi Darci, our site should not have any adverts at all? could you drop us an email with a print screen?


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