List of Ferret-Free Zones - New and Improved (Finally)!

Or, What do you mean ferrets are illegal there?!

Written and maintained by Katie Redshoes <>
Updated on Fri May 11, 2001


I seriously can't believe I've been keeping this list since 1993.  For those of you impatiently waiting for me to update it, I can only offer my apologies for the long delay since the last one in 1999.  I especially would like to apologize to the residents of Taylorsville and Salt Lake City, Utah, which I mistakenly reversed in regard to FFZ status.  (For the record, ferrets are legal in Taylorsville, illegal in Salt Lake City.)  :-(   I have no excuse for the long time between updates, save the fabled Real Life.  With this format overhaul, hopefully I'll be more timely in the future.

If you've sent me updates for this page, and still don't see it, please email it to me again. My computer problems have continued, unfortunately, and I have lost messages for the FFZ list. :-(  Hopefully, these problems have been put to rest at last.

Yes, I do know about this site being listed in the March/April issue of Ferrets magazine (along with the embarrassing note that the list was outdated).  I suppose that's what's led to the recent increase in email I've gotten, hey?  And for anyone who wonders, yes, I know that this page was once nominated to the Useless Pages list. Phooey! :-) I prefer to think of the company we keep by being associated with Ferret Central, which has been recognized as a Cool Site of the Day. So there!

This page is dedicated to Bandit, 6/88-3/96, the first ferret in my life. Without him, this page would never have happened. Rest in peace, Molly (2/89-7/95) Charlie (10/89-8/96), Sigmund (1993-1998) and Pogo (1992-1998).


The list of FFZs, or Ferret-Free Zones, is current, as of 5/11/2001. I urge all readers to add to it, in an effort to compile a better and more comprehensive list! My information is only as accurate as the information I'm given, and I've also been known to make mistakes.  Use this list at your own risk -- laws and policies change all the time, and I can't guarantee how often I can update the list.

Legal action or disinformation campaigns are always popping up. With more frequent questions about permit or license requirements to keep ferrets, I've listed what I know, or have heard of. I continue to get more questions about FFZs in countries other than the U.S., but I have very little information about ferret legality outside of U.S. borders. More input is needed!  I'd particularly like information about Canada, Australia and Germany -- I probably get more questions about those three countries than any other.

If you are looking for information about the care and feeding of ferrets, etc., pop over to Ferret Central, home of the Ferret FAQ, with loads of links to other ferret pages and more ferret info than you can shake a stick at. Or consider subscribing to The Ferret Mailing List, a moderated, daily digest with more than 2,000 subscribers talking about all aspects of ferret care, feeding and fun. If you have a question about ferret health, try the Ferret Medical FAQ -- but if it's urgent, call your vet first. If you want to know where to obtain a ferret, I can't recommend any sellers or breeders, but I would suggest that you check with a ferret shelter -- STAR*Ferrets has the most comprehensive list.

I've gotten questions recently asking me "Why in the world would ferrets be illegal?" It's a complex question, mostly due to a combination of misunderstandings about ferrets. The most succinct list of these was the Top Ten List of Human Misconceptions about Ferrets., which, sadly, is a dead link.  If anyone knows where to find it again, please let me know! Meantime, check out CFL's Misinformation of the Week page

If you find out you live in an FFZ that does not appear on the list, please email me -- don't assume that I'll find out otherwise. The more specifics you can provide, the better.

If your town is not listed, that does not necessarily mean that it's in the clear. But please don't write to me and ask if I can find out if your town is an FFZ. I frequently get e-mail asking if I can check about ferret legality in specific localities. Regretfully, the answer is: no, I can't. I have neither the time nor resources to do this, and am dependent upon the kindness of strangers to provide me with information.

Please do not write to me asking how you can get a ferret in California, or how to circumvent the law in order to keep a ferret in California.  I refer you to Californians for Ferret Legalization for information on how to get involved with the legalization effort.

If you're not sure about your town and it is not listed, please, please, please check locally first. Check with local ferret groups -- if you don't know who your local ferret contacts are, check the STAR*Ferret resource list or take a look at Ferret Central's list. Or ask your vet or call local authorities to ask if there are any local laws or ordinances banning ferrets or requiring permits or licenses. Do not accept hearsay. If you're told there's a law, ask to see a copy in writing. Email me and let me know what you find out.

And finally, I am always happy to receive email, but I cannot guarantee a timely reply.  In fact, I can't guarantee a reply at all.  Please realize that it is nothing personal, but the volume of mail that I receive is more than I can handle.  I'm sorry if I sound cranky, but you wouldn't believe the number of questions I get on subjects I've already said on this page that I can't answer.   To repeat: that includes questions about care, feeding, health, where you can find a vet, where you can buy a ferret, and whether ferrets are legal in your town or the town where you are moving.

Good News/Bad News

May 11, 2001 update
Good news:
Ferrets are legal in Tulsa, Oklahoma!

Bad news:
Ferrets are still illegal in California.  But there's a chance of passing SB1093 if you can help  Californians for Ferret Legalization with their petition drive to the governor.

Good news:
Ferrets are legal throughout the six cities of Metropolitan Toronto, including York and East York.

Bad news/good news:
Ferrets are illegal in New York City, but City Council just this week passed a measure that would legalize them.  See the NYC Ferrets page for more information on how to prevent a mayoral veto of Intro 627-A.

Good news:
Ferrets are now legal in Denton, TX.  See the Ferret Lovers' Club of Texas page for more information.

April 30, 1999 update
Good news:
Ferrets were legalized in Franklin County, Ohio, in August 1997.  My apologies to the many Franklin Countians who have written to me to tell  me this news and were wondering whether I was asleep at the switch or what.  The answer is: "or what."  Anyhow, they're legal.  YAY!

Good news:
Licenses are no longer required to keep ferrets in New York state.  YAY!  (Again, apologies to the many New Yorkers who have written to let me know.)  No, I don't know how this changes things in New York City.  Somebody update me.  I promise I'll get the information up quickly.

Good news:
Ferrets are legal in Bloomington, Indiana, as of August or September, 1998.

Action to legalize ferrets in California continues.  It's an incredibly complex story that I won't try to summarize.  Instead, I will refer you to Californians for Ferret Legalization.  CFL needs your help to get ferrets legalized in this state. For the latest information about the legalization effort in CA, check out CFL's web page.  Meantime, ferrets are still illegal in California.

April 29, 1997 update
Good news:
There is action afoot in California that's a little more involved than I can summarize on this page. Suffice to say that on April 15, 1997, Assembly Bill 363 passed the Assembly Bill 363 passed the Water, Parks & Wildlife Committee and now moves on to the Appropriations Committee on May 7. Californians for Ferret Legalization needs *your* help to get this bill passed! For the latest information about the legalization effort in CA, check out CFL's web page. Don't celebrate too soon, however. For now, ferrets are still illegal in California.

Good news: Ferrets are legal in San Antonio, Texas. YAY!

Bad news: It seems Columbia, MO,  and Puerto Rico are FFZs. :-( Anyone with more details?

Good news: Owasso, OK, has legalized ferrets, and Tulsa may be next.

Bad news: Ferrets are *not* legal in Denton, Texas. Apparently I have been replying on inaccurate information. Sorry, guys. :-(

Good news: On July 8, 1996, ferrets were legalized in Plano, TX, and apparently are legal in Lewisville, TX, with vaccination and a permit.

Good news: Michigan joined the ranks of the Ferret-Legal in December 1994, and Massachusetts followed suit in March 1996. This leaves only California and Hawaii as the only states in the U.S. where ferrets are completely banned. Here's hoping California "sees the light" this year!

Good news: The disinformation war in New Hampshire is over, as a quarantine period (rather than "kill and test") has been established for bite cases.

Good/bad news: Four out of 6 "cities" in Metropolitan Toronto allow ferrets. The two that don't are York and East York.

Good/bad news: Despite information previously received to the contrary, ferrets are not yet legal to own in Dallas, TX. Apparently you can sell them, though. Another example of "fuzzy logic," hmm?

Ferret-Free Zones (FFZs)

Definition: states or localities where ferrets are currently known to be banned or illegal, or which are known to be unfriendly to ferrets (i.e. while ferret ownership may not be banned by statute, administrative rulings against ferrets may be in effect; de facto rather than de jure illegality)

Many military bases ban ferrets -- please chip in with more names here! I understand that ferrets were allowed at Carswell Air Force Base, TX, in 1977, but as ferret legality on military bases is always at the discretion of the base commander, this may no longer be true. In general, if you are in the military and live on base, be aware of the risk.

All righty, it's time to try something new.  One of the reasons it's been so difficult for me to keep this list updated is that the amount of information I was trying to organize had just exploded, and the format I was using had become increasingly awkward and unwieldy to manage.  I've finally managed to come up with an alternative, which I sincerely hope will be both more useful, easier to navigate, and easier to keep updated.

This also means I've had to split this page into parts, so the actual list of FFZs has been moved off this main page.  The FFZ list is now available in three flavors:

Places with recent legal action

California - See the Californians for Ferret Legalization page for details on SB1023.
New York - See the NYC Ferrets page for more information on Intro 627-A.

Places ferrets are specifically legal in Texas

I used to carry a list of Texas cities where ferrets are specifically legal, but dropped it due to the volatility of Texas law and policy regarding ferrets.  I have received conflicting information in the past over whether ferrets are legal in this or that Texas city. It appears that I've listed names in error, as well as stating that ferrets are specifically legal in certain cities, only to to be told later that there are no specific regulations one way or another. I have no desire to cause confusion among Texas ferret lovers by telling them their pets are legal when, in fact, they are not.  I have re-added some of these cities, based on information from the Texas Ferret Lovers' Club, which has a wonderful website explaining the differences in how many municipalities regard ferrets.  For the most up-to-date information about the ferret situation in Texas, please check the Ferret Lovers' Club of Texas legal page. For others, see above.

Places that require permits or licenses

This information has gotten too long to list here and has been moved.  See above.

Input needed

Please add to this list! I can be reached at

I'm always looking for more information, particularly in regard to licensing requirements for the various states, when there are additional restrictions, if a license is good for an unlimited number of ferrets or whether it's per animal, legal specifics in countries other than the U.S., policies regarding rabies vaccination and quarantine, etc.  Keep those cards and letters coming! :-)

Send me a message about the FFZ List!

What is your email address (so that I may reply)?

Note: I get a lot of mail bounced back to me from invalid addresses -- please double-check for typos!
Also note that, unfortunately, I can't promise a speedy reply or even a reply at all. :-(
Enter your message below...and please include your name so I can acknowledge you properly.

Looking forward to hearing from you!!

Thanks and credits

I'd like to thank some very special people, for the knowledge they have shared with me over the years, and for all the warmth and kindness they have shown me: Chris Lewis, founder of the FML; Bill Gruber, guru of the FML in its current form; the Petsforum Group on CompuServe; Steven Markowitz and Troy Denkinger, my former cohorts and co-section leaders on CompuServe; Dr. Karen Rosenthal and Dr. Ann Jeglom; Pamela Troutman of STAR*Ferrets; Ann Davis of Acme Ferrets and LIFE; Troy Lynn Eckart of Ferret Family Services; Jeanne Carley of Californians for Ferret Legalization, Debra Thomason of the Ferret Lovers' Club of Texas, and Suki Crandall, just for being.

And, as always, my continued thanks to Pamela Greene, for providing the original Web home for this information and for continued support.

My thanks also to the following people who have contributed to this list:
Deborah See, K. "Soup" Campbell, Bob Raymond, Howard and Ann Davis, Laura L'Heureux, Robert Rhode, Michelle & the MASKeteers, Jan Lovell, John Gaver, Gale Putt, Denise Voskuil, Travis Daniels, Len Jaffe, Jim Murray, Jody in Oklahoma, Randy S. Sellers, Phyllis Berker, Whatuwish4, Matthew Stevens, Bob Church, Bill Lockwood, Robyn Carozza, Mike Mikula, Barbkitty, Scott Smith, Jessica Taylor, Stan Siatkowski, Jodi Schroth, Cyber Scorpion, Tim C. Watson, Sherri Elliott,, Dawn in Utah, Daniel C. Ribar, Adam F. Miller, Sherry Salafia, Steve & Lynn Hightower, Ms. Patty of Beggars and Thieves, Michael Runyon,,,, Lee McKee, Keith Falcon, and many more to numerous to list.

This page accessed  times since 23 August 1996. 
(Add 750 to the above number -- the counter went kablooey awhile back for reasons unknown.)
Page created by:
Original HTML formatting by Pamela Greene <>
Changes last made on: Fri May 10 12:55 2001

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