In the great state of Vermont, there are many laws that residents must abide by. For example, it is illegal to drive without a seat belt. But did you know that it is also illegal to own a pet squirrel? If you’ve ever wondered “can you have a pet squirrel in Vermont,” this post will answer all your questions.
Can You Have A Pet Squirrel In Vermont?
The short answer is no, it is illegal to own a pet squirrel in Vermont. The state only issues rehabilitation and some educational licenses. Anyone caught possessing, transporting, or selling any type of wildlife or fish, will be punished accordingly.
Is It Illegal to Have A Pet Squirrel in Vermont?
It is illegal for removing, selling, or using any type of illegal device (traps) for removing wildlife from their natural environment. Animals found in the possession of a person will be seized and confiscated.
According to the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Regulations, only people holding a valid license for rescuing or taking a wildlife animal is permitted. No person is allowed to take protected birds or game, or furbearing animals.
Can You Obtain A Wildlife Rehabilitator License?
Becoming a wildlife rehabilatator in Iowa is not as straightforward as other states. At the time of this writing, there are 20 licensed wildlife rehabilators. These people tend to injured, orphaned, or sick wildlife.
The rehabbers are volunteers, meaning they don’t get paid for taking on the responsibility of caring for animals. You will be responsible for paying for all the costs related to caring for the squirrel, until it can be released back into the wild.
That said, programs such as POW and ReFurbish donate supplies such as; formula, bedding, enclosures, etc.
How to Become A Wildlife Rehabilitator?
If you’re still interested in becoming a rehabilitator, contact firstname.lastname@example.org via email. They will provide you with the details you need to apply for the program. At the time of this writing, the wildlife rehabilitation fee costs $50.00.
It’s important to understand that rehabilitating squirrels requires extensive training, money, and plenty of space in your home. You are required to release the animal into the wild once it is able to survive on its own.
Can You Relocate to Vermont With A Pet Squirrel?
According to 10 V.S.A. § 4709, no person may bring any live wild animal or bird of any kind, without a permit and permission from the commissioner. The importation fee will only be granted after the animal has been thoroughly checked to ensure it is healthy.
If approved, the owner will be required to pay a $100 permit fee. Permits will not be given for hybrid or genetic variations of any kind.
Before applying, we recommend reading this booklet from the Wildlife Rehabilitator “Wildlife Rehabilitation Is It For You? to help you understand what the job entails.
Types of Squirrels In Vermont
Like most places throughout the United States, Vermont is home to 5 species of squirrels. They can be found living in different areas throughout Vermont such as; backyards, forests, and even inside bird feeders.
Below are the different types and some tips on how to help you identify them so you can enjoy them in nature or your backyard.
Eastern Gray Squirrel
The most common type of squirrel found in Vermont is the Eastern Gray Squirrel. It is also known as the cat squirrel, silvertail, and bannertail, and is commonly found in mature hardwood forests.
Their diet consists of nuts such as; beechnuts, hickory nuts, and acorns. However, these omnivorous mammals adapt to their environment and will gladly consume plants, small animals, mushrooms, bird eggs, fruits, and even insects.
The Eastern Gray Squirrel is easily distinguished by its large size and color. They are the largest type of squirrel with an adult weighing between 14-21 ounces (400-600 grams).
Their fur is a mixture of gray, brown, and black with a white underside. You can also identify them by their long bushy tail that has a silver-gray color.
American Red Squirrel
The American Red Squirrel is about half the size of the gray. It weighs between 7.1 – 8/8 ounces or 200-250 grams. These little guys are covered in red-brown fur with a white underside and white rings around the eyes.
American Red Squirrels can be found nesting in tree branches and cavities. These opportunistic feeders will happily consume mushrooms, berries, conifer seeds, and small birds.
The Red squirrel is active year round, even in the winter.
The Fox Squirrel aka Sciurus niger is the largest of the tree squirrel family. They have very muscular bodies with sharp teeth that enables them to climb trees, and other objects.
The Fox Squirrel can be found throughout Vermont, but prefer open, savannah-like habitats. These types of habitats are home to oak-hickory forests, pine forests, and mixed forests. These types of environments has helped them adapt to the suburban and urban settings.
Southern Flying Squirrels
The Southern Flying Squirrel also known as Glaucomys volans is a small, nocturnal mammal that is about the size of a chipmunk. They have large eyes, furry tail, with a reddish-brown or gray body and white underbelly.
They are smaller than their Northern cousins and are the smallest of the 5 tree squirrel species. The Southern Flying Squirrel weighs no more than 2-3 ounces and measures from 8½ – 9⅞ with a 3-4 inch tail.
The cape consists of loose skin that stretches from the wrist to the ankle on each side. This “flying squirrel” can glide for long distances, of over 80 yards!
They are active at night and you can find them in mature hardwood forests where they nest in tree cavities or build leaf nests. Their diet consists of; insects, acorns, nuts, berries, and seeds.
Northern Flying Squirrels
The Northern Flying Squirrel aka Glaucomony Sabrinus is primarily a nocturnal species, meaning you won’t see them during the day. It has a dark reddish-brown fur on its back with a cream-colored underside. They weigh between 3.0 – 8.1 ounces or 110 – 230 grams.
The Northern Flying Squirrel is found in conifer forests. These areas provide an ample food source as well as nesting sites for these nocturnal animals.
Their diet consists of acorns and nuts like the diurnal tree squirrels. Other foods that are part of their diet are; fungi, lichens, bird eggs, tree sap, and insects.
It is illegal for Vermont residents to own a squirrel or any other type of wildlife. That Vermont is home to several types of squirrels, so you can still enjoy them by observing them in their natural habitats.
If you’re ever considering relocating to Vermont with a pet squirrel, please be aware of the state’s laws and regulations. Failure to abide by the regulations can result in fines and possibly having to surrender your family member.