HWS USDA Information

The breeding, selling, and in some cases, exhibition of pet hedgehogs in the U.S. is regulated by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Depending on the numbers of hedgehogs you own, breed, sell, or wish to exhibit, you may need to obtain a USDA license, undergo inspections, and meet pre-set requirements. Neglecting to obtain a needed license is punishable by law.

To find out more about the USDA and its requirements, follow the link below. By clicking on the various “Fact Sheets” and “Related Links” to the right, you can learn about licensing, exhibiting, pet store regulations, inspections, etc.



To see if a facility, breeder, or exhibitor is licensed, click on “USDA Animal Care Public Search Tool” on the left; unfortunately, the USDA purged or made unavailable the vast majority of their inspection reports and records recently, so searching is difficult. You may not be able to determine whether a breeder or pet store is properly licensed. In that case, filing a complaint as described below is your best option. 
Below are some resources available to use in the reporting of animals in deplorable conditions:


This is the organization that grants the license to pet stores to sell exotic animals; all pet stores that sell hedgehogs are required by law to have a current USDA license.  They must either have their license posted in the store or show it to you upon request. 

This is the link to register a complaint with the USDA:

The Mississippi River divides the country in to the Eastern or Western Region:

Eastern Region Contact Information
920 Main Campus Drive
Suite 200
Raleigh, NC 27606-5210
E-mail: aceast@aphis.usda.gov
Phone: (919) 855-7100
Fax: (919) 855-7123 

Western Region Contact Information

2150 Centre Ave.
Building B, Mailstop 3W11
Fort Collins, CO 80526-8117
E-mail: acwest@aphis.usda.gov
Phone: (970) 494-7478
Fax: (970) 494-7461 

2. You can also file a report with the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service at:
Click on the Animal Welfare link
Click on the File an Animal Welfare Complaint 

3. Your state government also has Animal Control Offices/Officers.  Once you get to your state governments web site, click on the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection link and then look for the Animal Welfare Link.

4. Your local government may also have an Animal Control officer that a report could be filed with (or you may have a Humane Society in your area with resources to help).  This may be listed under Police or Sheriff phone numbers.

5. If the pet store is part of a larger chain, you can try filing a complaint with the headquarters of that chain. 

6. You can also file a grievance with your local Better Business Bureau against the store. 

7. If you want assistance, the Hedgehog Welfare Society’s Advocacy—Pet-store/USDA Liaison Committee will gladly help you with this process. Please email Jennifer and/or Kristen at jennerss@comcast.net  and  Kristen.bongard@gmail.com