I’ve lived in New England all my life and there have been times I’ve seen people with pets that make me ask myself, “Is it legal for them to have that as a pet?” I know people absolutely love animals, but you can’t just make any animal a pet. Each state in New England has rules about what animals you can have as a pet.

I’m not a pet lover, so even dogs and cats are out for me. But some pets I’ve seen people owning in New England seem a little crazy to me. Snakes are the big ones that I see in people’s homes. Like, BIG snakes kept in what looks like an empty aquarium with a heat lamp shining down on the snake to keep them warm in New England’s climate.

But too many times, exotic animals do not get the proper care to survive in the climate of New England. Owners either neglect or improperly care for these pets, or they take them right out of their natural habitat. Just ask Mr. Drew and his Animals Too.

With the proper permits, you can have many exotic and uncommon pets in your home depending on what state you live in. If you’d like to get a pet that is not common like dogs, cats, fish, birds, or some reptiles, you might want to check this list of animals for each state in New England.

Maine

It is illegal to have these animals as pets: bear, moose, wild turkey, deer, lion, cheetah, wolf, monkey, camel, alligator, monk parakeet, mute swan.

New Hampshire

It is illegal to have these animals as pets: bear, tiger, leopard, monkey, ape, wolf, poisonous reptile, monkey

Massachusettes:

It is illegal to have all non-domesticated, non-hybrid wild animals as pets.

Vermont

It is illegal to have these animals as pets: bear, lion, tiger, wolf, gorilla, monkey

Connecticut

It is illegal to have these animals as pets: lion, leopard, bobcat, wolf, bear, chimpanzee

Rhode Island

It is illegal to have these animals as pets: primates, carnivores, amphibia, reptilia, canidae, and insects

If you want a pet, you can find several that you can give a happy home to at your nearest animal shelter or refuge league.

LOOK: Here are the pets banned in each state

Because the regulation of exotic animals is left to states, some organizations, including The Humane Society of the United States, advocate for federal, standardized legislation that would ban owning large cats, bears, primates, and large poisonous snakes as pets.

Read on to see which pets are banned in your home state, as well as across the nation.

Gallery Credit: Elena Kadvany

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