YARMOUTH, Maine, Oct. 11, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Maine ferret fans wondering if they could someday get a furry friend of their own are in luck: they’re completely legal. Currently, California and Hawaii are the only states where private ownership is not allowed, although some counties and cities nationwide have local bans, such as the City of New York. However, provided you’re interested in a domestic ferret, and not a wild black-footed ferret, go for it, especially if you’ve learned about proper care and treatment.
Drs. Louise LeBoeuf and Peter Smith, founders of Yarmouth Veterinary Center, in Yarmouth, Maine, encourage prospective ferret owners to do their homework before bringing one home.
“People who own ferrets absolutely love them, but they sometimes do require some care and attention — not many other pets out there are known to steal your socks!” LeBoeuf said. “We always enjoy helping take care of them as well.”
The only law currently on Maine’s books regarding domestic ferret ownership is that pet stores or individuals aren’t allowed to sell them younger than 8 weeks old, and importing them into the state younger than 8 weeks is prohibited unless their mother is included.
Until 1997, all ferret sales included a warning about possible unprovoked biting of children, which may be linked to rabies, and would result in automatic euthanasia for the ferret. However, this notice is no longer required, and there is a more sensible rabies protocol in place for ferrets, cats, dogs or other small animals. Now, pets suspected of being infected with rabies are required to undergo isolation and observation for 10 days.
Yarmouth Veterinary Center’s offers regular vaccinations for rabies, distemper and other diseases.
“We believe that the odds of a ferret contracting rabies are rare, but we encourage owners to consider the vaccine, especially if the ferret is outdoors a lot or visits other states regularly,” LeBoeuf said. “It provides peace of mind but also can avoid needless fear in the community if an infection or attack ever happens.”
LeBoeuf said some ferret owners may be hesitant to request the vaccination due to concerns about possible negative reactions.
She said ferrets do have an increased chance of having a reaction to the rabies vaccination when compared to cats or dogs, but the benefits to the pet’s health and to the public need to be balanced on a case-by-case basis.
Yarmouth Veterinary Center has been providing care for ferrets and other pets throughout the region since 1986. Drs. LeBoeuf and Smith opened an office attached to their home at Bridge and Willow streets, and over the years, the amount of available services has grown. Today, with five veterinarians, YVC has become a valuable resource for area pet owners. Along with traditional pet care, it also offers a variety of specialty services, including dental care and laser therapy.
For more information on general ferret care visit http://yarmouthvetcenter.com or call (207) 482-0493
Yarmouth Veterinary Center, (207) 482-0493
Source: Yarmouth Veterinary Center