Everyone experiences having a pet, some even to the extent of holding the definition of ‘mans best friend.’ Imagine you just moved to a new area, it’s a beautiful day and you couldn’t resist taking a walk through the park with your fuzzy friend by your side. Suddenly, you feel a tug at their leash and your friend is being confiscated because you are posing a threat to the law and environment. You are torn and confused; your friend’s life is now at risk. He is now the next victim on the fish and games list, they found him and not only are you bearing with though of not seeing him again, but you also have a pricey fine to pay. Sadly this story is a common, risky situation people tend to find themselves in while owning a ferret in California.
My ferret Scout is my best friend; he enjoys walks in the park and rolls over for belly rubs while a new stranger cannot resist greeting him. I currently reside in Texas, one of 48 states where ferrets are legalized animals. I planned to move to California and then began to find out about the risks of taking Scout with me. I would have to be careful about who would know I own a pet ferret because that next knock on my door could be a game warden and Scout live would be at risk. While driving through the state border I would keep my fingers crossed, hoping Scout would not be found in the car or taken from me. I cannot imagine starting my new life without him. Scout enjoys the outdoors and each time he becomes full of excitement as he gets the chance to hop in the grass. Ferrets are sensitive to heat, but on a cool day in California he would miss out on a walk in the park and the extra attention he strives to get from an unfamiliar face.
Ferrets are intelligent, loving animals that should earn the same rights as other household pets. They are not the simplest pet you can find, but they just need a dedicated owner with knowledge of their care and needs. Ferrets should be legalized because they are not threatening beings, they are loving animals and strive to cuddle in your arms and also enjoy a game of chase from time to time. Ferrets commonly come with their shots for rabies, canine distemper and are often neutered before being purchased so they would not be able to populate. A domesticated ferret does not pose a threat on the environment because they have little chance of surviving in the wild due to dehydration, starvation or being threatened by the high temperatures.
My ferret Scout is part of my family, he is my best friend and I would not want to put him through the risks California laws pursue. My ferret has been the most interesting pet I have ever had, his personality shines brighter than any I have known. Why keep that feeling from someone who has found it? Why punish best friends in California while the rest of the United States isn’t against the two of you?
Who would have thought the first day you and your best friend were walking in the park would have been the last day the two of you would spend together. You feel a loss of personal freedom and you are now separated for life; you fought for them but had no control in the situation. The pain you experienced is what keeps us ferret owners fighting for what we believe in. We will continue to stand by our close fuzzy family members and the rights they deserve. My ferret and I share many memories full of laughter that will last a lifetime. I will fight for those who were dismayed and those who have experienced the pain of their close friend being taken from their hearts.
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