As you stand in your backyard, you notice a squirrel nest. You love to gaze at these little chipmunks daily with your evening cup of coffee. But one day, you find a cute little squirrel alone. It’s time to help this cute baby squirrel. Your first thought is, “Can you have a pet squirrel in South Carolina?” The answer to it can be a yes or a no!. Squirrels are not tame, which makes them unsuitable for keeping as pets. When considering keeping a squirrel as a pet, you need to understand a couple of things.
Can You Have A Pet Squirrel In South Carolina?
Legally possessing a squirrel depends on the distance between your home and its location. A 100-yard radius around your house allows you to pet the squirrel. However, it is preferred that people who rehabilitate squirrels have formal training to ensure their safety, which is what the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) guarantees with its safety regulations.
Additionally, the state may require you to obtain a wildlife rehabilitation permit and undergo an initial property inspection.
South Carolina is a lenient bird law state (just like Florida), but grabbing a squirrel from a tree and bringing it home isn’t as straightforward as it might seem. The care of pet squirrels is not easy, though.
It is illegal in South Carolina to kill squirrels as game animals. South Carolina law considers a bird to be wild if found in a body of water that is entirely different from state waters (for example, a private lake) or if it is included within its natural range (for example, a squirrel). Since the government owns wild squirrels, you cannot catch or enslave them.
Do You Need A Permit to Own A Pet Squirrel In South Carolina?
South Carolina does not have a clearly outlined law. Other sources claim that squirrels cannot be owned without a permit, while others believe a permit is needed.
This must be done before the department can determine whether the wild animal was lawfully acquired. Please keep this in mind when handling wild animals.
To import squirrels from another state, they must be legally brought into the jurisdiction of the state where they were born. If you acquire squirrels without breaking any laws, your permit application will not be approved.
List of Legal Pets In South Carolina
There are some animals prohibited in South Carolina if you like rehabbing or rehabilitating exotic or wild animals. Finding out what permits are required will require due diligence on your part. The allowed animals in the territory include squirrels, bobcats, raccoons, and monkeys.
Considerations for Getting a Pet Squirrel
Consult your veterinarian before adopting. Finding a wildlife refuge centre to take in a squirrel that needs care is the best course of action before caring for the squirrel on your own.
Prepare for squirrel care.
Wild squirrels are not tame. You need to take special care of wild squirrels or pet squirrels if you wish to keep them as pets. A veterinarian should first examine your squirrel. Choosing to adopt a squirrel involves a lifetime dedication. Domestication can be prone to dangers to wild squirrels, so make sure to keep everything in check.
How to prepare your home for squirrels
Playing, climbing, and hiding are squirrels’ favourite activities. Because squirrels are wild animals, you might consider letting them in and out of your house. Your home and backyard should be pet-safe, which means you should take the following steps:
- Ensure your squirrel cannot climb into tiny holes or hide behind appliances.
- Processed snacks, such as chemicals, may be dangerous to your squirrel, so keep them every from squirrel reach.
- While your squirrel adapts to the new environment, keep it away from other pets.
- It would be best if you always supervised your squirrel when other pets accompanied it.
Accommodations for squirrels
If your squirrel is not at risk of predators, you can put her in either an indoor or outdoor cage. Because squirrels can squeeze through tiny holes, traditional cells, such as rabbits and chickens, do not always work.
You can keep your squirrel safe with a mesh wire that will still allow them to climb around. To move around your squirrel, the cage needs to be at least two feet across on all sides and taller than it is deep.
Feeding your squirrel. Your pet squirrel should be provided with the same foods that they would find in the wild. This includes broccoli, mushrooms, carrots, nuts, and fruits.
Food for squirrels
As opportunistic eaters, squirrels eat whatever is available to them. All they care about is food. You have to provide them with a portion of healthy food. Squirrels indeed enjoy eating human food, such as cake, snacks, and other processed foods; nonetheless, these foods are unhealthy for squirrels.
Toilet training for squirrels
A five to six-week-old squirrel will start urinating. You can use a wet cotton cloth to wipe off the bottom in a gentle circular motion. After that, you can train them to use a litter box. The litter box should be filled with faeces so that squirrels can smell it and become accustomed to it. If they do something good and follow the regular pattern of tasks with you, provide them with a treat.
In short, squirrels are legal to keep as pets in South Carolina. The practice, however, is strongly discouraged since squirrels don’t make great pets.
Know what you are getting into before you jump in. It is your responsibility to keep one in captivity once you have brought it in. Due to their lack of fear of cats, dogs, owls, hawks, or people, captive squirrels cannot be released into the wild.
Many people are untrained in caring for and rehabilitating squirrels and other wild animals. Keep the squirrels out of your feeders so they can come to visit you daily. Leaving them in the wild is the best of all possible worlds.