California is the only state besides Hawaii where keeping ferrets as pets is illegal, and recently owners have stepped up their campaign to end the ban. According to the Associated Press, the state's Fish and Game Commission says the animals can threaten local wildlife if they get loose. Advocates counter that they're just like kittens — though kitties are less stinky and probably won't gnaw off your baby's fingers.

Sorry, ferret enthusiasts, but I've been raised to fear the stinky rat-like creatures. Considering that my mom wasn't big on petting zoos or even the neighbor's guinea pig, there's a good chance I'm wrong, but part of her odd pet-related germophobia stuck.

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I can sympathize with the fear of having your beloved pet taken from you, but it doesn't actually sound like there's much of this going on. California is believed to have more ferrets than any other state, and a quarter of the nation's ferret care supplies are sold there. The Fish and Game Commission's president even said game wardens "have way more important issues than cracking down on ferrets."

Oddly enough, California's ferret issue mirrors the debate on marijuana legalization. Advocates argue legalizing the sale of ferrets could bring in much-needed tax revenue, and the arguments against allowing them as pets are weak. The bans on ferrets and pot may not make much sense, but clearly even though they're illegal, they currently aren't hard to come by California.

California Ferret Wwners Want Their Pets Legalized [AP]
Pet Ferret Eats Seven Fingers Of Baby Boy [CNN]