The Fight for Ferrets Meets The Ferret Squad
Here in Virginia, ferret ownership is legal. Quality vet care and superior foods are readily available to fuzzy owners. You can walk them on the streets or carry them to the pet store with you. And many of you probably assume that the rest of the country is the same, right? Sadly, the answer is NO.
The Historical Growth of Misinformation and a Sad State of Affairs.
One of the most progressive states in the US lives under a shroud of restrictions and misinformation: CALIFORNIA. How can such a cornerstone of this country be so maligned? It started back in 1933, when a statute entitled ‘The Importation and Transportation of Live Wild Animals’ was enacted. Basically it banned animals that were not native to California, including all types of ferrets. Back then, of course, domesticated ferrets were not the popular pets they are today, but neutered males were permitted by those who wanted them. For many years, the law went unchallenged. But in the 80’s, ferret lovers began coming forward to request that the law be modified to allow the admittance of spayed females as well. At that time, the judge would usually order that the males be neutered first, and then the California Fish & Game would be ordered to issue a permit that would allow the petitioner their spayed female.
Fish and Game didn’t want to do that. So they began a very negative campaign, involving falsified studies from the California Department of Health to spread inaccurate information about domesticated ferrets. (They later confessed they felt they were supposed to write an overly biased report and had no intentions of showing objectivity in their findings.) They claimed ferrets were a high rabies risk, viciously aggressive toward people and other animals, and would get loose and form uncontrollable feral colonies that would destroy crops and livestock. Of course, none of that is scientifically accurate. The truth was that in 300 years, only a dozen or so cases of ferrets with rabies were ever documented. And as to ferret attacks? Please! Domesticated dogs, coincidentally, are involved in more than 15 deaths per year, as well as thousands of rabies cases.
But dogs are still legal in California. As are cats. Despite the evidence that cats and dogs are far more aggressive and far more likely to pose a health risk, only ferrets are euthanized if found by Cali Fish and Game. Innocent law abiding citizens are vilified and punished if found owning these harmless companions. And for no other reason than prejudice and ignorance.
It’s time for this to stop… ferret owners should not have to live in fear. Ferrets need to be removed from the banned list. There is no scientific justification for this law.
The Ferret Squad… Saving the World, One Ferret at a Time!
In 2011, director and ferret advocate Alison Parker filmed Jake and Jasper: A Ferret Tale, a short film about a young boy who learns to deal with the loss of his mother through the companionship of a delightful ferret (played by Falcor the ferret, Parker’s personal pet fuzzy.) The film was well received by ferret lovers across the world, and received several indie film awards as well. Now, as a follow-up to the success of Jake and Jasper, Parker hopes to produce another film that will not only delight and entertain ferret lovers everywhere, but alert and educate the public at large to the huge injustice that continues in California.
The Ferret Squad is about a young man named Max who adopts a ferret from a local shelter, before finding out that his father is moving them to California to stay with family. Instead of leaving his ferret, Digger, with his best friend, he sneaks Digger into the truck and smuggles him into California, into the home of his aunt and cousins. It is there he meets the Ferret Squad, a group of young people who rescue ferrets in need and get them out of harm’s way–a tricky feat considering two of the kids are the children of an employee of California’s Fish and Game. But when Max finds himself on the receiving end of California’s wrath, it’s up to the Ferret Squad, with the help of a compassionate neighbor, to execute a risky maneuver to get the threatened ferrets over state lines before the law catches them.
Why Does a Movie Need MY Help?
Making a movie is expensive. Actors, sets, ferrets… it adds up quickly. Jake and Jasper was completely donor funded. The Ferret Squad is, as well. But it is important that this movie does get made. Not just for entertainment purposes and the collective delight of hundreds of thousands of ferret lovers everywhere, but because of the message this film sends.
Over 500,000 ferrets live illegally in California today. That is a lot of ferrets that will be euthanized if the state finds them. Alison Parker, through The Ferret Squad, hopes to enlighten more people to the injustice pet owners endure in California. In addition, she hopes to show the world at large how meaningful owning ferrets can be, and why so many people are willing to risk so much to share their lives with them.
And one more thing I want to share with you, why assisting The Ferret Squad is so important. There are a number of ferret goods manufacturers that will not support the movie, in any manner. They don’t believe ferrets will ever be legalized. Rather than rally behind a cause they should have a deeply vested interest in, they turn their backs on the very animals they are in business for. It is disappointing, to say the least. I really don’t understand their rationale. The inability to change the law in the past does not indicate that all efforts will continue to end in failure. But should we all just give up fighting the way they have, then yes, that does equal failure.
I want to see The Ferret Squad succeed. I want to see this movie made, and more people coming forward to demand their rights as pet owners. I want to see a brighter future for all those innocent ferrets on the wrong side of the state line.
What you can do is really very simple: DONATE. It doesn’t have to be much. There are perks for all donors. In addition to helping fund an important feature film, you will be donating to the fight to legalize ferrets. Alison Parker is donating 5% of all donations to LegalizeFerrets.org, to assist in their fight.
PLEASE DONATE TODAY! All donations can be made on The Ferret Squad Indiegogo page at http://www.indiegogo.com/TheFerretSquad.
Your support is imperative, but more than that, it is deeply appreciated. Whether or not you own a ferret, or a cat, or a dog, you understand how important our companions are in our lives. Would you ever want your state banning your precious pet? We all must stand together, to ensure that this injustice ends, and pets everywhere are protected. NOT victimized.
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*Historical information can be found at http://www.goldenstateferretsociety.org/pdfs/FerretHistoryWhyIllegal