The following information is provided as an educational benefit to those Ferrets Anonymous members and site visitors who are interested in the legal issues surrounding ferrets in California. Most information in this area is California specific, but it may also apply in your jurisdiction. This advice is not meant to be a substitute for the advice of a qualified attorney and at no time is Ferrets Anonymous, CDFA, or CFL responsible for unintentional misinformation or errors on our part, or the abuse of Federal, State, or Local laws by people using this information.

What if Fish and Game Came Knocking on Your Door: Know Your Rights!

By California Domestic Ferret Association

Due to the constant threat of confiscation and euthanasia, and the impediments to proper veterinary care caused by its "illegal" status, the California Domestic Ferret Association (CDFA) does not encourage ownership or possession of this pet in California. However, we do recognize that there are an estimated 500,000 ferrets residing in California, and for that reason we want to provide the following helpful information. This information is based on the California Department of Fish and Game's Civil Code book, section 671.3.

When a Fish and Game warden or a police officer knocks on your door, you DO NOT have to allow them entry without a properly signed search warrant. This search warned must show "probable cause" (for example, if your neighbor reported you, his name must appear on the search warrant).

If they have a search warrant that meets the above criteria, and they find domestic ferrets on your property or in your home, you have the right to make decisions regarding your pet's safe transport out-of-state:

1.      At your expense, you may choose to have them shipped to a permanent adoptive home of your choice, in one of the 48 states that permit ownership.

2.      You may choose, at your expense, to have them sent to an adoptive center in a "legal state". Please be advised that your pet(s) will be placed in a carefully selected permanent adoptive home(s).

3.      You may elect to have the confiscating officer handle the situation at his or her discretion. There is, however, no guarantee that your pet(s) will not be destroyed.

A Note from Ferrets Anonymous

This information is handed out at pet fairs and other events where free information is provided.

Often ferrets are picked up on an unauthorized walk and no one claims them. Usually the ferret is just in the wrong place at the wrong time. The police may be at the house on another matter and the animal is seen. Maybe you just broke up with a girlfriend or a boyfriend, have roommate problems, marital problems, or neighbors who use the animal to get at you.


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