Capitol Alert

‘Joe Ferret’ centerpiece of legalization campaign

Advocates for a ballot measure to legalize ferrets in California have started circulating a comic, Joe Ferret, to educate voters.
Advocates for a ballot measure to legalize ferrets in California have started circulating a comic, Joe Ferret, to educate voters. Legalizeferrets.org

The campaign to lift California’s pet ferret ban is getting downright comical.

Ferret lover Pat Wright’s years-long quest to legalize the critters can be a lonely one, but he’s commissioned some company: Joe Ferret, a partially dressed cartoon ferret who seeks petition signatures in a strip Wright is circulating to current and potential supporters.

“I take baths all the time,” Joe assures a skeptical citizen who has heard ferrets smell. Slighted again, Joe retorts, “If ferrets are gross why do I look so good?”

“I thought a comic strip might be something new and refreshing,” said Wright, who paid for the comic as part of his push to put a legalization measure on the 2016 ballot.

If drawings don’t work, perhaps vets will. Wright has been promoting a regular “ferret-friendly vet of the day,” spotlighting animal doctors who will treat ferrets and have agreed to offer petitions at their offices. So far only one has declined, Wright said.

Wright is realistic about his long odds of collecting the 365,880 signatures needed to get on the ballot, focusing instead on the 91,470 required to trigger a legislative hearing. His latest count registers around 2,700.

Jeremy B. White: 916-326-5543, @CapitolAlert

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