They may cause squeals and screeches when out for a walk in the park, but ferrets are tame domestic animals, cousins of otters and weasels, not rodents. If you are looking for a unique pet, crawl around the Web before allowing one of these adorable creatures to creep around your home. According to the following sites, they make fantastic and loyal pets. But should you allow them around your children or other pets? More important, are they legal in your state? I've ferreted out these resources to answer these questions and more.
American Ferret Association
The American Ferret Association home page contains an assortment of information for ferret owners in the United States. Legislative news is updated on a regular basis, so you'll find articles here covering events such as the recent legalization of owning ferrets as pets in San Antonio, Texas. There's also information on the American Ferret Association's Ninth Small Mammal Veterinary Conference, which will take place in Baltimore, Maryland. And for current ferret owners, there's helpful practical advice, such as the material on getting the proper vaccinations for your pet. (Ferrets are extremely susceptible to the canine distemper virus.) There's also a listing of AFA shelters in the United States and Canada. And if you are cuddling a ferret right now, you'll want to check out the products for sale here such as "The Pet Ferret Owner's Manual" and a video titled "A Complete Pet Owner's Manual, Ferrets Unmasked."
Maintained by Christine Code, Ferret Net is a warehouse of electronic resources available on the Net that's should be especially amenable to those who are new to these furry creatures. At first the site appears a little on the mundane side with few fancy graphics, but once you delve further you'll find plenty of digital images of cute prospective pets, most notably in the Ferret Medical Information area. The Ferret Pathology link is a must see with its adorable digital images of little creatures posing for owners. Perhaps you've been searching for the perfect ferret association to join. Ferret Net has scampered around the Web to catalogue a cornucopia of clubs dedicated to the love of ferrets. And if you're looking to acquire a fuzzy friend, check out the list of breeders and shelters and you'll be on your way.
The webmaster of Ferret Central includes a statement as to why Ferret Central contains no frames, background music, and extravagant graphics, and contains guidelines for HTML accessibility for users with disabilities, something I rarely see. But don't let the lack of snazzy features keep you away. Ferret Central contains a plethora of information and links and is presented in a smart and clear fashion. The information on Kodo, a ferret about to be destroyed in Michigan, was especially touching and intriguing (additional information on Kodo can also be found at the American Ferret Association site). Kodo, who was suspected of having rabies, has his own legal fund, t-shirt, bumper sticker, and press information. The FAQ section is extremely extensive, starting out with the top seven ferret questions, answering questions such as are ferrets legal where you live, will you need a license to keep one as a pet, and do they make a good pet for children? If you have other pets, Ferret Central also addresses issues of compatibility. Anyone looking for still more information can contact other ferret owner via a list of home pages and newsgroups.
Washington Ferret Rescue & Shelter
Like adopting a dog or a cat, getting a pet ferret means making a commitment. Unfortunately, not everyone is up to the task. That's where Ferret Home comes in. Its main focus is the rescue and adoption of homeless ferrets. Formed in 1996, the Washington state-based shelter is a non-profit organization. Their goal is to rescue mistreated ferrets and provide them with loving adoptive families. The site contains ferret links all over the globe including sites in Canada, Sweden, and Japan, as well as a thorough listing of state organizations dedicated to the care of ferrets. Most interesting are the California links. It is currently illegal to own a ferret as a pet in California and advocates are going to the Web to get their message heard. Miscellaneous topics include Zen and the Art of Ferrets and Ferret Friends United. If you are in need of a unique gift, Ferret Home has an emporium of ferret-related proprietors. Check out a copy of Modern Ferret Magazine or Susan's Ferret Fancies. This site will also take you to some of the most lively ferret owner home pages that I found. There's even a ferret cam!