Originally Answered: Is it legal to have a pet prairie dog or groundhog in Houston, TX? Where can I buy one and for how much?
Houston has a ban on wild animals. I do not know if groundhogs would fall under it. I would suggest contacting animal control and asking them. Here is a small portion of the law.
ARTICLE III. KEEPING OF WILD ANIMALS*
Sec. 6-51. Wild animal defined.
As used in this article, the term wild animal shall mean any mammal, amphibian, reptile or fowl of a species that is wild by nature and that, because of its size, vicious nature or other characteristics, is dangerous to human beings. Such animals shall include, but not be limited to, lions, tigers, leopards, panthers, bears, wolves, wolf-dog hybrids, cougars, coyotes, coyote-dog hybrids, raccoons, skunks (whether deodorized or not), apes, gorillas, monkeys of a species whose average adult weight is 20 pounds or more, foxes, elephants, rhinoceroses, alligators, crocodiles, caymans, fowl larger than a macaw, all forms of venomous reptiles and any snake that will grow to a length greater than eight feet. The term shall also include any animal listed as an "endangered species" under the federal Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended, or any fowl protected by the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The term wild animal shall not include gerbils, hamsters, guinea pigs, mice and domesticated rabbits.
(Ord. No. 99-404, § 1, 4-28-99)
Sec. 6-52. Possession prohibited.
(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to be in possession of a wild animal within the city.
(b) It shall be unlawful for the owner or other person in possession or control of any lot, tract or parcel of land within the city or any residence or business premises situated thereon to knowingly suffer or permit any other person to be in possession of a wild animal upon the property, residence or premises.
(c) As used in this section, the term to be in possession includes any harboring or keeping of a wild animal, whether on a temporary or permanent basis and includes, without limitation, holding or keeping the wild animal for the temporary and/or limited purpose of sale or transfer or offering of sale or transfer to another person.
(d) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this section that the wild animal is being possessed in accordance with all applicable state and federal laws and that:
(1) The wild animal is being kept for treatment in an animal hospital operated by a veterinarian licensed in Texas;
(2) The wild animal is being kept at a public zoo that is accredited by a nationally recognized zoological association;
(3) The wild animal is being kept at a shelter operated by a state or federally recognized humane agency for the purpose of its transfer to a refuge or sanctuary;
(4) The wild animal is being kept for medical research or teaching purposes at a medical school or licensed hospital or by a university or college offering an accredited degree program;
(5) The wild animal is in the possession of an airline, motor freight agency, rail freight agency or other carrier, and its possession in the city is incidental to transportation, provided that the wild animal is secured within a cage or other enclosure that is adequate to prevent its escape; or
(6) The wild animal is being kept or transported temporarily for a production in accordance with a permit or registration under section 6-55 of this Code.
(Ord. No. 99-404, § 1, 4-28-99)