The Baltimore Ferret Club began in 1993, its founders being, Diane Rogers and Jim Brown. Baltimore Ferret Club has been involved in major ferret issues as well as many, many minor ones. When this club was started, ferrets were illegal in Baltimore city & county. Yes, you could own them but you could neither buy nor sell one. The original name of our fall championship show was "Ferret Freedom Fiesta" which celebrated the fact that ferrets were now legal!
Rasha, a ferret in western Maryland, was killed to check for rabies after nipping a neighbor's child during a sleepover. BFC led in starting a "Rasha Fund" to help with the legal expense to save this little guy. This led to our next battle proving "domestic" status rather than "exotic" which was needed to obtain rabies vaccination protection. This was a long, hard fight involving visits to the Maryland State House, attending House meetings (we even had a ferret sit through one session - the first time a live animal had ever been permitted there), preparing folders of documentation, mailing hundreds of letters and making phone calls to Annapolis. If you ever hear "House Bill - 426" mentioned, that's the one.
The result? Your fuzzy doesn't need to be sacrificed to see if he has rabies as long as he has received his shots. This is an on going project as there are still some trouble spots in Maryland where ferrets are tested first and questions asked later. They may have been euthanized just because they ARE ferrets. Many of us walked the pavement in Annapolis in protest to the killing of a little ferret in Michigan named Kodo who wasn't given this protection.
Our activities most of which are ongoing and current:
We participate in: PetSmart adoptathons (as well as their "Santa" photos), "Bark In the Park", ASPCA "Pet Awareness", Boy Scouts, "Walk For the Animals", Pet store demos where we answer questions, bring our ferrets (if requested), and hand out information packets.
All of this requires you, part of our very appreciated group of volunteers. Without you none of this is possible. If you are one of them, THANK YOU!
We have or do donate ferret books to not only all Maryland libraries but also other ferret clubs and groups, raffle items to other clubs and groups, supplies and equipment to other shelters.
To stick a note in here, ever wonder where the name of our spring show "SOS" came from? It originated to provide help for some Maryland shelters. The three who helped organize and run the first shows received proceeds. We became swamped by requests from everywhere to be included in the proceeds (not process). Two of the shelters are no longer involved so you will notice that our spring show is now called "Spring Fling".
In order for some of our activities to continue, we have to help others. By becoming an Affiliate Member of the Bengies Chase Recreation and Parks Council in Baltimore County, we are able to share some of their facilities for our meetings and/or special activities.
Let's not forget those who maintain a place for ferrets, pick up lost, abandoned or unwanted ferrets from animal shelters or owners and get them to a safe haven, who run ferrets to and from vets for whatever is needed who pick up and deliver food, litter and etc. to various locations.
A lot of what the club has, or does, is the result of personal financial help: Our computers, the web page, decorations for not only meetings but the show, gifts for the show vets, special copying for meetings and shows, furnishing supplies for printing, newspaper advertisements, and the list goes on and on.
All of us want to see BFC continue on with its current goals. We all need to pledge ourselves to continue to educate, to provide assistance when needed, to be ready to support the legalization battle in other states, to keep a total connection with other animal controls within Maryland, and first and foremost put the welfare of our ferrets above all else.