You Can Own An Alligator In New Jersey, It’s Just Extremely Difficult
There's really no question about it; people, for the most part, love animals.
When I go home to visit my folks, outside of seeing them the best part of the trip is getting to see the family dog Max.
He's such a good boy.
Dogs, cats, mice, rabbits even lizards and snakes, there's just something about having a pet to come home to at the end of the day that just makes people happy.
Speaking of making people happy, I recently saw an NJ.com article where a guy from Philadelphia made a stop near Love Park to show off his emotional support alligator!
Now, when I think of an emotional support animal I immediately think Golden Retriever or a cat, but different strokes for different folks, right?
According to the NJ.com article, in Pennsylvania, it's legal to own an alligator as a pet.
So that of course got me thinking.
Is it legal to own an alligator as a pet in New Jersey?
Getting a solid answer to that question is incredibly difficult, the short and skinny is no, you can not, but some people can.
After scouring the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection's website it turns out that if you apply for a permit and meet certain, specific, criteria you can technically own an alligator.
What Criteria Must Be Met To Own An Alligator In New Jersey?
You have to prove that you have the education and background to handle the animal as well as ensure that you have the proper housing facility to keep the animal from harming the public.
Applicants must also submit a written notification to the NJDEP of your intent with the animal as well as a written description of the animal's caging facilities and diet plan.
That's a lot of work.
So, Can I Really Own An Alligator As A Pet In New Jersey?
Unless you're an expert on alligators and plan on keeping it for education or research purposes probably not.
Honestly though, do you really want an alligator?
They take up way too much space, are kind of mean, and are basically dinosaurs.
My professional advice is that you get a rabbit, a cat, or a dog!