Vermont’s Herps Are Not Pets

According to 10 App. V.S.A. § 25, none of Vermont’s native reptiles and amphibians (or other wildlife) can be kept as pets (unless you have an importation and possession permit from the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department). Information on non-native herps that can and cannot be kept legally can be found at this link and by clicking on “Importation and Possession Permit / Temporary Exhibition Permit”.  The Unrestricted Wild Animals list (first three pages) will show you the animals that may be kept without a permit, while the Restricted Wild Animals list will show you some of those that require a permit. Any species not found on the Domestic Species List or Unrestricted Wild Animals list requires a permit!

Why do we limit herps as pets? For one, some are very long-lived, sometimes even outliving their owners, leading to unwanted animals that could be hard to find a home for. These unwanted animals might be released back to the wild, where they likely won’t survive. If they do survive, they might compete with native species, or introduce diseases to wild populations. Additionally, protecting wild populations from collection for the pet trade is important. You can help by not keeping native herps as pets, and if you do have a non-native herp pet, do not release it into the wild.