In what states is ferret adoption legal?


Quick Answer

Ferrets are legal to adopt in all U.S. states except California and Hawaii. However, certain districts and individual boroughs have also banned them, including Washington D.C. and New York City.

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Full Answer

In Hawaii, ferret ownership is banned primarily to maintain the state's status as rabies-free. In California, it is possible to own a ferret only if one obtains a permit from the California Department of Fish and Game, and even then, the permit does not cover home ownership. The ban in California was established to reduce the damage ferrets can cause to fragile ecosystems. If ferrets move into an area, they can displace indigenous predators by eating all of the available prey.

Ferret laws have always been contentious, since ferrets are intelligent carnivores and have been known to attack humans. Ferret owners, however, have fought to improve the public perception of ferrets. They note that ferret attacks on people are very rare, as well as avoidable so long as the owner is responsible. For people looking to adopt a ferret, it is important to check local laws for individual housing situations. For instance, many landlords do not allow ferrets to be kept as tenant pets. Ferrets are also banned on many army base camps.

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