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March 28, 2017

Proposal would allow hedgehogs and sugar gliders to be pets in Pennsylvania

Lancaster Republican wants to end 'unnecessary prohibition' of 'pocket pets'

A Pennsylvania lawmaker is prepared to introduce possibly the most adorable bill in the state's current legislative session.

State Rep. David Zimmerman, R-Lancaster, wants to allow for the ownership of certain "pocket pets." Specifically, he wants hedgehogs and sugar gliders to be added to the state's list of permitted exotic pets.

In a co-sponsorship memo, Zimmerman noted that the reason these two animals aren't currently allowed as pets is because they aren't native to Pennsylvania and, therefore, could present problems to other wildlife if they escape or are released.

"Be that as it may, almost every other state in the nation allows these harmless tiny creatures to be kept as pets similar to a gerbil, hamster, etc.," Zimmerman wrote.

Zimmerman called the current law an "unnecessary prohibition." What he failed to mention in selling this legislation to fellow lawmakers is that both animals are cute as hell. Here are some tutorials on what both are like as pets:

Hedgehogs, via Animal Planet:

Sugar gliders, via Vice:

Hedgehogs have been growing in popularity as pets in the United States over the past few years, thanks in part to social media accounts and animal websites. Some experts, however, still argue that they shouldn't be domesticated.

As for sugar gliders, they can be subject to cruelty and trauma when they're trafficked into the United States (largely from Indonesia) and can be difficult to maintain as pets — expensive, noisy and apparently have a habit of drowning in toilets.

All that being said, they both look like the sweetest little things. Besides, who really wants another house cat?