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The information herein does not necessarily reflect the views of the Ferrets Anonymous or its representatives, and has not been checked for accuracy. This information is provided solely as one possible source of legalization information for Californians and others who are interested in "the cause."

Ferret Rally in San Diego

FROM: The Associated Press
DATE: January 11, 1998

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Ferret lovers say there may be 500,000 of the cute, weasel-like pets in California. And all of their owners are breaking the law.

California and Hawaii are the only states that do not allow the animals as pets -- a law advocates in California are trying to change.

About 50 people defiantly walked or carried a handful of ferrets through a downtown park Thursday, calling on state lawmakers to legalize their furry friends. A legalization bill failed last year.

"I applaud all of you for your courage in coming out, and especially for bringing your ferrets," said Pat Wright, who runs the San Diego-based Ferrets Anonymous.

During the Ferret Freedom Walk, the short-legged animals lazily draped themselves around necks, over arms and on the heads of their sign-toting owners.

Wright admitted that a ferret latched itself onto a cameraman earlier in the day. And just last month, three-week-old twins in Anaheim were hospitalized after their grandmother’s pet ferret got out of its cage and bit them repeatedly.

"People say they have a tendency to attack children," Wright said. "I would not put a ferret in a baby crib, but I would not put a rat or a hamster or anything in a baby crib."

Opponents also say ferrets kill off wild game and can hurt children. But supporters here said the creatures are fine pets, and like any domestic animal must be monitored around small children.

"I think the thing we need to do is inform people about ferrets, because there’s a lot of misinformation out there," said Chris Kibler, 35. "It’s like any animal. They have to be trained when they’re kits -- that’s what they call the babies. Whenever they nip, just give them a thump on the nose."

Owning a ferret, a misdemeanor, can carry a $1,000 fine and up to a year in jail. Ferret lovers say the law is rarely enforced.


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