NEW YORK (WETM) – Having a pet goes a long way when it comes to companionship. A cat can be your little buddy, a dog your li’l pal. Some people are more fond of fish, rabbits, snakes, turtles, ferrets, or even spiders.
Around 90 million homes in the U.S. have a pet, according to the American Pet Products Association. Dogs and cats far outnumber other pets, but fish, birds, other small animals, and horses still make an impressive name for themselves.
But not all exotic animals are allowed. There are plenty of laws to protect animals in the U.S. and every state to prevent them from being mistreated. And sometimes it even comes down to what a landlord allows as a pet in an apartment.
But in the Empire State, there are some hard rules when it comes to which kind of animals you can or can’t own.
Most of the animals in New York’s environmental laws that can’t be owned fall under the umbrella term of “wildlife”. This is a broad term, but the state differentiates it from “companion animals” like dogs and cats or any other that is commonly seen in a home.
Below is a list of wild animals that NYS prohibits residents from owning, selling, transporting, or exchanging as a pet (unless you meet very specific requirements and apply for the correct licenses):
- Non-human primates and prosimians (like tarsiers)
- Hybrid cats and cats other than domesticated or feral cats (felis catus)
- Foxes (other than captive bred fennec foxes)
- Certain snakes and reptiles (and any hybrids)
- Venomous snakes
- Burmese python
- Reticulated python
- African Rock python
- Green Anaconda
- Yellow Anaconda
- Australian Amethystine python
- Indian python
- Asiatic Monitor
- Nile Monitor
- White Throat Monitor
- Black Throat Monitor
- Crocodile Monitor
- Komodo Dragons
- Big cats
- Snow leopards
- Clouded leopards
- Asiatic lions
- Crocodiles and Alligators
- Gopherus tortoises
- Certain marine turtles
- Any endangered species that fall under this legal definition
The state also prohibits anyone from owning any native or non-native species that state environmental officials find “would present a danger to the health or welfare of the people of the state… or indigenous fish or wildlife population.”