Exotic Animals and the Law: What are Indiana’s laws?


Each state regulates pet ownership of exotic animals.  Indiana’s laws are relatively lenient, considering some states even ban ownership of pets such as the ferret. Indiana has no laws regulating ownership of common exotic animals, such as pet birds, domestic rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets, and rodents. Current laws require permits for venomous snakes, exotic felines, and wildlife: Summary of Law: All persons who possess certain wild animals must obtain a permit for each animal they possess. A wild animal possession permit is required for Class I animals (eastern cottontail rabbit, gray squirrel, fox squirrel, southern flying squirrel) Class II animals (beaver, coyote, gray fox, red fox, mink, muskrat, opossum, raccoon, skunk, weasel) and Class III animals: wolves (purebred), bears, wild cats (excluding feral cats), venomous reptiles and crocodilians (at least 5 feet long).

In order to comply with Indiana law, owners who would like to bring any of these regulated animals for veterinary care can do so, with the proper up-to-date permit in hand. (One exception: our clinic will not see venomous reptiles). It should be kept in mind that not every animal in the above list makes a good pet.  If you are considering an unusual animal as a pet, please give us a call beforehand. We would be happy to share what we’ve learned from our clients over the years.