Eighteen states have very strong laws against owning exotic animals. These are: Alaska, California, Colorado,Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Washing and Wyoming. The states which have a partial ban against owning exotic animals are: Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska and Virginia. While thirteen states require that you get a permit from the state before owning an exotic animal, nine states have no licensing or permit requirements whatsoever. If your desire is to own an exotic animal, whether a pet chimpanzee or a wolf, you need to follow these steps carefully:
There are many things to consider before purchasing an exotic animal for a pet. Although the animal can appear cute and cuddly (in some cases) the reality of bringing an exotic animal into your home can have far-reaching effects, which can be shocking, overwhelming, or in some cases, downright unbearable. You need to be fully aware of the following issues for whichever exotic animal you have chosen:
Say you decide you want to own that cute, cuddly baby tiger. Tigers can grow to weigh between 350 and 550 pounds and can live over 20 years. They are not babies very long, and grow at least ten pounds per month. They urinate to mark their territory, and the smell is decidedly.....pungent. Tigers eat meat, period-- and not hot dogs, but red meat such as beef, bison or venison. In one year a tiger can eat 2 tons of red meat. And the obvious--tigers can kill. Even if you desire a much smaller exotic, such as a Macaw, consider that a macaw's beak is capable of snapping off a human's finger, quite easily, and they live to be 50-60 years of age. Macaws are smelly and messy, and providing the correct diet can cost an excessive amount and be difficult to maintain. Whatever type of exotic you choose, they require an enormous amount of care and money to maintain, and if you neglect to license your exotic, in the states where they are legal if licensed, you may face huge fines in the range of $200-$2000.
If you have an exotic pet and neglected to check your state and local laws, you should immediately contact an attorney in your area who is familiar with the applicable laws and rules. Aside from fines, you could face criminal penalties and there are provisions in place for seizure and forfeiture of your animals. You need experienced legal representation to guide you in this matter, or you could find yourself in serious trouble. Remember, wild animals belong in their native habitat, not in your back yard, living room, or a cage.