Some Maine sixth-graders are pushing state lawmakers to pass a bill that would make it easier for residents to keep hedgehogs as pets.
Lawmakers agreed to consider the legislation on Thursday.
Maine and eight other states currently restrict or ban ownership of the tiny, quill-covered creatures, which can carry salmonella.
The students asked a legislative committee on Tuesday if the state could ease restrictions on owning the animals, which now require two different permits.
But the state director for The Humane Society of the United States says the prickly animals don't always fair well as pets. Katie Hansberry says owners often disrupt hedgehogs' natural nocturnal sleeping patterns and the animals also run the risk of acquiring a debilitating disease known as wobbly hedgehog syndrome.