Pets

November 22, 2012

The Buzz: Another letdown for the ferret legalization lobby

Ferret legalization lobby hunts for help after election setback

Nov. 6 wasn't a great day for California ferret lovers.

Two candidates supportive of legalizing ownership of the animals lost in the general election balloting, leaving the informal lobby behind the cause to once again start its annual "Hunt for a Ferret Legislative Sponsor."

Despite having "no known supporters" in the new Legislature, LegalizeFerrets.org founder Pat Wright found a reason for hope in the election results.

"There was one person elected who had some ferret knowledge," he wrote to supporters in a newsletter this week. "Brian Maienschein was elected in the 77th Assembly district and met Alice Kaiser and her ferrets."

Wright called on his fellow ferret lovers, who have been working for years to persuade legislators and the Fish and Game Commission to allow ownership of the animals, to create a committee tasked with seeking support from the newly elected San Diego Republican.

Those efforts, however, could be in vain. Maienschein's campaign manager says the assemblyman- elect has no recollection of interacting with the pets belonging to Kaiser, who Wright said had to move to Arizona after former Gov. Arnold Schwarzengger vetoed legislation related to the animals in 2004.

"Brian has not ever met a ferret and he will not be sponsoring legislation to legalize ferret ownership," campaign manager Lance Witmondt said.

– Torey Van Oot

BY THE NUMBERS

About three of every 10 births in California are C-sections, a rate that is stabilizing after years of growth, according to data from the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development. See rates at hospitals near your home at sacbee.com/ datacenter.

–Phillip Reese

WORTH REPEATING

"It is most fitting that we set aside a special day for gratitude."

GOV. JERRY BROWN, in his Thanksgiving proclamation

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