A letter-to-the-editor to the Sacramento Bee brings up that question I've often wondered about. Why do people bother sending in a letter about a subject they know nothing about? Here is the offending letter.

Ferret legalization is a bad idea

Re “California ferret legalization cleared to collect ballot measure signatures” (Capitol & California, Aug. 19): Legalizing ferrets in California would be yet another example of the irresponsible leadership by our state government. Given the ferociousness, fertility and lack of larger predators to control them, ferrets could rapidly multiply and spread to become a threat to chicken farms, small native birds, animals and pets – ferrets only eat meat.

Like skunks, ferrets can carry rabies which can infect their owners – often small children.

I know, supposedly the ferrets will not escape, or only neutered, non-reproducing, vaccinated ferrets will escape and thus cannot multiply nor spread rabies.

There are many examples of imported animals overrunning areas without natural predators to control their spread – boa constrictors and pythons in the Florida Everglades, mongooses and brown tree snakes in Hawaii, rabbits in Australia, and ferrets in New Zealand.


There are two theories in politics when you are attacked. Counter it or ignore it. I'm a firm believer we need to counter such ignorance. Otherwise some people may believe it. So I sent my own letter to the Sacramento Bee:

Letter writer Ron Loutzenhiser sure misses the boat on ferrets. Why would someone so misinformed bother to write a letter to the editor. So let me set the record straight.

There are no feral ferrets in California. Or anywhere else. They’re house pets. Kind of like poodles. They aren’t out there terrorizing the eco system.

Ferrets ferocious? C’mon – Ron. According to the Centers for Disease Control, only the Guinea Pig is a safer pet when it comes to bite statistics. I guess they didn’t consider fish.

Ferrets overrunning an area without natural predators? Again – there are no feral ferrets in the world. OK, there are some feral ferret-polecat mixes in New Zealand and the Shetland Islands. But those are island eco systems.

It’s all covered in the Environmental Report the Fish and Game Commissioned required from us, available to all at http://legalizeferrets.org/images/documents/Final_Report.pdf

Ron, rights aren’t gifts from the government. Our rights come from a higher power and government’s job is to protect them. Something the Fish and Game Commission and you don’t seem to realize.

If you are going to restrict a freedom, in this case to own the domestic animal of one’s choice. You should have a good reason. You don’t even have good knowledge of the issue.

Pat Wright

If someone brings up the subject of ferrets in public, but is so off track like Mr. Loutzenhiser, set 'em straight. Silence could be misconstrued as support.