Ending the War on Ferrets

Slinky, curious, and intelligent - ferrets have been domesticated for centuries. But in D.C., New York City, Hawaii, and California ferret owners face threats of jail time and fines up to $10,000.

Ferret opponents fret that the 20-inch mammals are likely to launch "vicious unprovoked attacks on humans," despite a study from California's own Research Bureau which found that ferrets don't "pose an unusual risk of bites." Others worry that escaped pet ferrets could form feral bands in the wild, but the same study found it "improbable that domestic ferrets could establish feral colonies in California." 

In 2004, the popular pet was nearly legalized in California, but the bill was stopped dead by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's veto. Ferret legalization groups remain undeterred. As David Gaines of the American Ferret Association explains, "it takes people and the grassroots knocking on the door of the legislature saying 'stop laughing, this issue is important to me and I'm your constituent.'"

3 minutes. Produced by Joshua Swain. Additional help by Amanda Winkler. Narration by Todd Krainin. And special thanks to The Ferret Inn.

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Nice marmot.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    Lets not forget Fist, that keeping wildlife, um... an amphibious rodent, for... um, ya know domestic... within the city... that ain't legal either.

  • Hugh Akston||

    What are you, a fucking park ranger now?

  • Radioactive||

    just a regular park ranger, no fucking allowed

  • Tonio||

    For the record, marmots (aka groundhogs) are rodents as are rats, squirrels and beavers.

    Ferrets are a type of weasel, which are members of the order carnivora and therefore more closely related to cats, dogs and bears than they are to marmots.

  • ||

    Not a Big Lebowski fan?

  • MJGreen||

    Clearly it was his own spin on, "Chinaman is not the preferred nomenclature. Asian-American, please."

  • Tonio||

    Dude, I'm a huge fan. But I always cringe when they call the ferret a rodent.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    IT'S NOT ABOUT THE FUCKING MARMOT, WALTER!

  • AlmightyJB||

    I've never seen the beginning of that movie. I always catch it half way into it.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    The first time I saw it was on the Versus network. They edited it to the point where it made absolutely no sense. Not just the language, but entire scenes and plotlines were cut. I had no idea, for example, how they tracked down the kid in the house by the In and Out Burger because in the scene where he finds the homework he was smoking a roach.

  • BlogimiDei||

    Find the Big Lebowski "F"uck" version on youtube. Only the f-word dialog is shown, however, it totally encapsulates the entire movie.

  • Cyto||

    Do you have to swear so much?

  • Coeus||

    The first time I saw it was on the Versus network. They edited it to the point where it made absolutely no sense.

    "This is what happens when you find a stranger in the alps!!!"

  • MattJ||

    The first time I saw it, I was in the theatre catching a weekday matinee with a buddy while in college. It was me, him, and about 15 retirees.

    Everything my buddy and I thought was funny, the rest of the audience sat through stone-faced.

    Then, every once in a while, the retirees in the audience would bust-out laughing while my buddy and I looked at each other and said "Did something funny just happen?"

    Too weird.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Well thank you, Professor McBrainerd!

  • CampingInYourPark||

    So which one tastes better, weasels or rodents?

  • Radioactive||

    depends on the sauce...

  • phandaal||

    I had a better comment about how great ferrets are, but it looks like the article was edited and it disappeared.

    So, in summary: The Beastmaster.

    Also, if you get attacked by a ferret then you're a failure at life and will probably get killed by the next dachshund that crosses your path.

  • Enough About Palin||

    So, in summary: The Beastmaster.

    Two words: Tanya. Roberts.

  • ||

    100% uncut Nicole bait.

  • ||

    You don't know me as well as you think you do, jesse. I hate videos. But their faces, their little faces, they are so cute in the still!

  • Tonio||

    Yes, they are cute. But they do have that special smell, even the "deodorized" ones. They aren't called mustellidae for nothing.

  • Coeus||

    Yeah, even spayed and de-scented, there's still a musk. But they're so damn smart.

  • ||

    And yet here you are Nicole...

  • ||

    Yeah, and you know why? Because you called me, and I was like "OMG CIRCUMCISION?" And there was no circumcision. That is all.

  • ||

    100% uncut Nicole bait. I see what you did there Nicole.

  • sarcasmic||

    Legislators never let facts get in the way of banning things.

  • ||

    I can see why HI would be paranoid, what with their history of the mongoose.

  • phandaal||

    This was my first thought too, but just think of all the places in the country where ferrets are legal and nobody is beset by swarms of wild ferrets.

  • Tonio||

    There is a native (US) black-footed ferret, in but they're highly endangered.

  • Tonio||

    And unlike Hawaii, the other 49 states (plus PR and DC) have ferrets or other natural predators which occupy the same niche. Hawaii and NZ had no natural terrestrial predators, so introducing mongooses and cats wreaked havoc with the local wildlife.

  • phandaal||

    Naturally. Cats are a plague on this earth, and I've seen Riki-Tiki-Tavi and am thus aware that the mongoose is an unstoppable killing machine.

    My thinking is that ferrets don't seem to be quite the predator that their other weasel cousins are.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    ... and I've seen Riki-Tiki-Tavi and am thus aware that the mongoose is an unstoppable killing machine.

    Honey badgers don't give a shit, either.

  • Copernicus||

    I've always thought the plethora of mongeese in Hawaii was pretty cool.. They stay pretty well hidden. Occasionally you see them scurrying from one area of high grass to another.

    I can imagine them hidden behind the scenes, 24 hours a day killing rats, pigeons, and other disgusting creatures.

    Thanks, mongeeses.

  • Cyrano||

    My ferret is nicer to me than any dog or cat I've ever owned or met. This is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard of. I couldn't possibly live in one of those shitty states.

  • nipplemancer||

    My last ferret (died of old age last year), was the sweetest ferret I've ever come across. Not once in 6 years did he ever draw blood on anyone, though he did bully my dog.

  • Coeus||

    My last ferret (died of old age last year), was the sweetest ferret I've ever come across.

    The problem is that 1 out of 4 are still wild. And you don't know until they get older if you've got one. 1 out of 4 will take a bite out of your earlobe.

  • Robert||

    That's not being wild, that's being undisciplined. That biter isn't trying to eat you, it's just playing and doesn't know people don't like that. My baby sister bit me.

  • Coeus||

    You literally cannot train it out of about 25% of ferrets. Ask (almost) anyone who's owned a few.

  • From the Tundra||

    My brother had them and swore they were perfect pets. But the stink, Cyrano, was truly impressive. I assume you get used to it?

  • ||

    Yeah, a neighbor of mine when I was a kid had one and it smelled TERRIBLE.

  • phandaal||

    The glands can be removed and the ferret will smell like any other furry creature. The same can be done to skunks, actually, which are related to ferrets and are supposed to be pretty smart animals.

  • Bernieyeball||

    ...take a wiff on me that ain't no rose...
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pprvp0Uujdg

  • Jim in Denver||

    They have a musky odor, even after the glands are removed, but if you keep their bedding changed frequently the oils which cause the odor are kept to a minimum. We use old towels and t-shirts on the floors/shelves and cloth hammocks. Washing the ferrets cause their skin to produce more oil and is mostly counter-productive though from time to time they will require washing to remove the residue of their recent exploits like oh say diving into your bowl of pudding or burrowing into potted plants.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Friend of mine had a ferret. It would get in his bed when he was slepping and chomp down on his toe. He thought that to be hilarious. He did not.

  • AlmightyJB||

    I thought that to be hilarious

  • nipplemancer||

    Little thieving bastards, I love em.

  • Doctor Whom||

    I used to date someone who had a ferret and whose Christmas decorations included a train set. Guess what happened to all of the little trees in the train set.

  • Tonio||

    They got ferreted off?

  • entropy||

    The weasels who write our laws don't like competition.

  • sarcasmic||

    When I was a kid we had a ferret for a short time. My father was working on the neighbor's car when something started crawling up his pant leg. Needless to say he freaked the fuck out, but it turned out to be a ferret. And an albino one at that. So my folks put an ad in the local paper. Soon enough it's grateful owners picked it up.
    It got along great with the cat, did it's business in a litter box, and was otherwise a nice pet.
    Except for the smell. Not a big musk fan.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Bands of ferrets, working illegally, living on welfare.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Damn Mexican ferrets. Coming up here, taking jobs from our good American cats and dogs.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Polluting our pet culture.

  • BakedPenguin||

    They don't even speak the language.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    How many ferrets do you want shot by cops?

  • Tak Kak||

    Owning them in D.C. really isn't any sweat.

  • ||

    D.C., New York City, Hawaii, and California

    Hmmmm?

  • Tonio||

    I'm assuming that TK means that the law is poorly and selectively enforced. And we all know what that leads to.

  • ||

    PetSmart used to have ferret product sections with big signs that said ferrets were illegal in CA, but if you needed ferret related products you could buy them there.

  • AlmightyJB||

    But if you sell pot related products that's a problem.

  • Zeb||

    Not so much in many states.

  • Tim||

    Who needs a ferret?

  • Tulpa (LAOL-PA)||

    You don't need 10 ferrets to kill a deer.

  • Tonio||

    Why, anyone who wishes to do ferret-legging, of course. Duh.

  • Gladstone||

    Too late to stop Frank Burns.

  • Bobarian||

    Nice reference, ferret-face.

  • Tim||

    Ferrets. Free tree fester

  • SugarFree||

    My sole contact with a ferret was the one that lived under my friend's Alex's couch. At least once a visit, it slithered out from under the couch far enough to bite someone on the Achilles tendon and disappeared. It was like living with a tiny terrorist.

    I have nothing against ferrets.

    I did know someone with a pet prairie dog once. That was one of the happiest, squirmy little ball of love ever. Of course, they can carry monkeypox.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Of course, they can carry monkeypox.

    Yup. Black Death, too.

  • SugarFree||

    Don't be racist.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Wait, prairie dogs have AIDS?

  • Zeb||

    Ferrets are pretty cool, but I like things to stay where I leave them.

  • Enough About Palin||

    "Ferrets are pretty cool, but I like things to stay where I leave them."

    For some reason that reminded me of Sandi.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

  • Coeus||

    One of my ferrets that I owned as a child was named Sandi. Wierd.

  • kinnath||

    I knew a couple in college that had a pair of ferrets -- cute little animals.

    The husband had lost his leg beneath the knee and used a prosthetic to walk around. At bed time he would take off the prosthetic and just hop around the apartment on one foot. Then they only had one ferret.

  • trshmnstr||

    I'm confused, did the ferret cause the leg loss?

  • wingnutx||

  • Alton543||

    my friend's sister makes $79/hour on the internet. She has been fired for nine months but last month her payment was $19798 just working on the internet for a few hours. Read more on this web site http://www.wow92.com

  • GILMORE||

    well at least we dont have to worry about libertarians being stereotyped as "dope-smoking ferret owners who want to own a bazooka"

    we're so over that. stinger missles are so much more useful than a bazooka anyway.

  • wingnutx||

    I'll take a SMAW, please.

  • Robert||

    The "stop laughing" near the end of that video is an important point. Once something's illegal, it's hard to get taken seriously about legalizing it if its only uses are frivolous. That's why medical marijuana is such a good bridge issue. We're hardly ever going to convince enough people that liberty is per se a good enough thing to be justified; it has to be for a good cause. If only we had medical guns, medical gambling....

    Of course we do have medical gambling: health insurance. And instead of medical guns, we have guns for defense. Increases in freedom are almost always going to come about as a byproduct of some other thing seen as goodness.

  • phandaal||

    There is some evidence that petting dogs makes people healthier. Maybe we can extrapolate that to ferrets.

  • HellsBells||

    We were advised to get one to help my son's social anxiety. It worked like a charm. She's a sweetheart, minimal musky smell and my only complaint is she will hoard anything that makes a crinkle noise. Anyway, the point was that maybe a new niche for ferrets as therapeutic animals?...provided you don't get the untrainable face-biters (but that could be entertaining).

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    Didn't the Governator work with a ferret in Kindergarten Cop? So he knows that they're harmless, right?

    What a douche.

  • John Galt||

    What kind of monster does it take to be hating on those cute slinky little ferret fellas?

  • wwhorton||

    As the owner of an AmStaff and a Rhodie-Pit mix, I'm glad somebody else is getting a little bit of the "inherently vicious" crap, although I admit that ferrets were not the animal I assumed would be next on the media hitlist. Unless you have an unusually heightened sense of smell, the only way a ferret can seriously injure you is if you try to swallow one whole.

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    just as Julie said I am alarmed that you able to earn $6854 in four weeks on the internet. did you see this site
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