Lurker pets

Nice ferret.

Nice ferret.

They’re not your typical criminals. But they’ll unite next month to try to convince the state to decriminalize a very important part of their lives.

They’re ferret owners, and they’re breaking the law.

Estimates suggest the number of ferrets in the state range anywhere from 100,000 to half a million, yet ferrets are illegal in California. The Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council reports that Californians buy 27 percent of ferret supplies sold nationwide. That’s a lot of supplies for pets that aren’t supposed to be here.

The ferret-legalization movement has a history. A bill in 2005 was vetoed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for being “too bureaucratic” and failing to have an environmental impact report (see “Ferret factor” by Jeffrey M. Barker; SN&R News; March 24, 2005). But ferret owners swore they’d be back. And this time, they’ll be armed to the rarely used but pointy teeth with facts and figures.

The San Diego-based group Ferrets Anonymous has contracted with a Sacramento State biological sciences professor to study the supposed dangers of ferrets. His first quarter report indicates that no area in the United States has had problems with feral ferrets, which has been the California Department of Fish and Game’s major reason for opposing legalization.

“We’re very excited to finally be getting data on this,” said Pat Wright, founder of Ferrets Anonymous. “There really is no reason to prohibit ferrets, and now we’ll have the study that the governor wanted.”

The 2010 Legalize Ferrets Revival will be held on September 25 in Concord. For information, visit

In the meantime, ferret owners are advised to keep the shades drawn. (Kel Munger)

Meal fit for a King?

Sports writers at last month’s Las Vegas summer league say the new-look Sacramento Kings could be what’s for dinner this NBA season. Just be sure to actually eat somewhere other than Arco Arena.

Last week, ESPN released “What’s lurking in your stadium food?” a report looking at arenas and stadiums’ health department records. At 25 percent, Arco Arena had the second-most food vendors in violation in the state of California. Specifically, the report cited too-cold chicken and too-warm shrimp pasta salad, both of which can be breeding grounds for bacteria. Arena officials say there have not been any food-borne illness complaints.

Research as to whether the Kings’ team defense causes insomnia or dizziness was inconclusive. (Nick Miller)

Chronic gain

The Sacramento City Council voted unanimously last week to allow all 39 medical-cannabis dispensaries that registered with the city last year to apply for special-use permits and continue operating. Previously, the city had planned to cap the number of clubs at 12.

“Have we come a long way? I got to tell you, this is amazing tonight,” remarked Councilwoman Sandy Sheedy, who kick-started the ordinance-writing process last year on the heels of armed-robbery attempts at local clubs.

The city plans to finalize its first medical-cannabis dispensary ordinance by early fall. (N.M.)