The Ferret Squad

My friend,Alison Parker, has been busy on movie projects lately. In addition to her normal work, she is producing another independent movie, “The Ferret Squad.” Max Jones is a teen with. Problem. His father accepts a job in California and he has to move. In addition the the usual challenges of leaving friends and school behind, Max has a unique and lovable pet ferret, Digger. That’s the Problem. You see, Digger, like all ferrets, is illegal in California. Will Max leave his buddy behind or take the risk or bringing him into a state where pet ferrets are seized and deported or euthanized? Max and Digger move together to California. It is there they meet a dedicated group of teens working to save ferrets, called The Ferret Squad.

Check out the official trailer for the movie.

The Ferret Squad

Indie Films and Ferrets

This blog entry is a bit different from my usual.  It is about a project near and dear to me: ferrets and their legal status in California.  A group of very creative individuals are involved in independently producing a full-length feature film that highlights the difficulties faced by ferret owners in California.  It also touches on the challenging world of ferret rescue.  Unlike cats and dogs, many Humane Society and other animal shelters do not accept ferrets.  Often, they are euthanized immediately or refused.   Unwanted ferrets are frequently turned loose to “be wild.”  Unfortunately, ferrets do not survive long once they are set “free.”  They end up dying from dehydration, starvation, predators, or traffic.  Ferret rescues are run by volunteers and depend on donations to survive.  The rescue operators spend their own money to care for the unwanted, the ill, the old.  There are many wonderful ferrets waiting in rescues to be adopted to new forever homes.

Zahn came to me from Ferret Haven of Spokane. She was a wonderful, gentle, playful little ferret.

 

 

 

I represent a group of individuals who are currently working to raise funds to produce an independent full length feature movie.  The name of the movie is The Ferret Squad. The film is about a young boy named Max, who smuggles his pet ferret into the state of California. He befriends a group of kids that run an underground ferret rescue and adoption organization, while living under the eye of an employee of California Fish and Game. But when his secret is exposed, Max must fight for what he loves, or else lose his beloved pet forever. It is a movie that people of all ages can enjoy, and carries the message of the importance of standing up for what you believe in.

Imagine if your chihuahua was not allowed within the borders of your state. Imagine if you could be fined and sent to jail, simply because you had a tabby cat in your home. Sounds bizarre, doesn’t it? But everyday, an estimated 100,000 residents of California face those threats, all in the name of ferrets. Since 1933, California has banned ferrets from being kept as pets within their borders, despite the fact that scientific data does not confirm any of the threats they claim ferrets pose to the state.

I am a ferret, not a criminal

Ferrets, like all pets, are not just animals–they’re family. They provide companionship, unconditional love, and are successful therapy animals. Do we want lawmakers taking away our rights to share our lives with such special creatures, when the benefits we get from them are so important? Those of us not living in California may not see the urgency of the situation, but fact is California legislators, if given their way, would have ferrets banned from many other states as well. What if they didn’t stop with ferrets? Eventually, their unfounded claims could affect everyone who has a pet. It is our responsibility to defend these animals, and to help the citizens of California, not to mention save the lives of over 500,000 ferrets that live under the radar.   I know first-hand the therapeutic value of ferrets.  My furchildren have provided comfort during my struggles with Traumatic Brain Injury.  They are joyful animals.  It is impossible to be stressed or sad when watching ferrets play.  They are affectionate and loving.  They bond with each other and with their human caretaker.

The Ferret Squad want to change society’s misconceptions about ferrets, as well as aid in the fight to have the ban in California overturned. But we really need your help. Please consider sharing about the movie on your website or blog. We have until June 10th to raise $40,000. During its Indiegogo fundraising effort, 5% of all donations will be going to LegalizeFerrets.org. Donations can be made at http://www.indiegogo.com/TheFerretSquad. You can watch The Ferret Squad promotional video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5iDAQhU4ihc. Many people from across the world are already spreading the word about The Ferret Squad. Please let me know at you earliest convenience if you would be willing to post a small article on your site about the movie and its fundraising campaign. More information about The Ferret Squad is available on their website at  http://www.theferretsquad.com/, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TheFerretSquad, on Twitter at @theferretsquad. I sincerely thank you for your time and consideration. I hope you will join us!

If you can not donate, please reblog this post.  Help us to raise awareness of the movie and the plight of ferrets in California.

The Ferret Squad Street Team- Lydia H

The Ferret Sqaud

Hello everyone.  As those of you who have read my blog before know, I am in love with ferrets.  I have owned ferrets since the year 2000 and am absolutely charmed by their antics and love.  Unfortunately, ferrets are illegal to own in California.  Ferret owners live in fear of discovery.  I take it for granted that I can openly talk about my lovable furkids at work and have pictures of them.  I can post on the internet without worrying about someone seizing  my ferrets.  Ferrants in California are not that lucky.  When ferrets are discovered, they must be removed from the state.  Or be destroyed.  There are several rescue operations and many volunteers who assist in getting an “illegal” ferret out of California and adopted into loving homes in other states.

California Fish and Game site several incorrect reasons why ferrets are a danger to the ecology and citizens of the state.

Firstly, they use the generic term “ferret” to refer to all ferret like animals, wild and domestic.  In other words, they place the domesticated ferret in the same category as mink(mustela vison), weasels(Mustela nivalis) , and American Black Footed Ferrets (Mustela nigripes).   Although they share the name “ferret,” the domesticated ferret is not descended from the American Black Footed Ferret.  The domestic ferret (mutela putronis furo) has been domesticated for approximately 2500 years.  They were bred originally to hunt small vermin, such as rats, mice, and rabbits.  In the United States today, ferrets are kept mainly as companion animals.  Some ferret owners in Great Britain still hunt rabbits with their ferrets.

Ferrets

Weasel

Ferrets, Black Footed Ferrets, weasels, and mink are not the same.  Ferrets are domesticated pets.  The second issue California Fish and Game cite is the risk of “feral” colonies of ferrets endangering local wildlife and plants.   There are no feral colonies of ferrets anywhere in the United States.  The only location where “feral” ferrets are a problem is New Zealand.  However, these animals are ferret- polecat cross species deliberately introduced into an area to control rodents.  In other words, the domesticated ferrets were bred with a wild animal and turned lose in an area with abundant game, no predators, and a friendly ecology.  The animals in New Zealand are not the same as domesticated ferrets.  Most domesticated ferrets in the US have lost much of their survival skills.  They generally die when they get lost.  They either starve, overheat, or are killed by dogs.  They expect ferrets to compete with local predators for food.  Ferrets generally do not understand how to hunt, kill, and eat game.  They will play hunt but are not successful in the wild.  Even ferrets in the UK used for hunting partner with humans.  The ferrets chase the rabbits through the warrens and into nets.    Unfortunately, most pet ferrets in the United States are bred by ferret farms, very similar to puppy mills.  Young ferrets are spayed or neutered prior to shipping to pet stores, often at 8 weeks of age or younger.   Any ferrets that manage to survive in the wild could not reproduce.  Without reproduction, any feral colony would soon die out.   California also cites concerns about ferrets being aggressive.  Any animal that is in pain, ill, or scared can bite.  It is part of survival.  Animals use teeth to defend themselves.  However, Evidence from an article in The Journal of American Veterinary Medical   Association, based on statistics from the Center For Disease Control, show that   domestic dogs are 200 times more likely to bite and seriously injure a child   than are domestic ferrets.  People are more likely to be bitten by dogs, cats, snakes, or humans than ferrets.  Alison Parker is an independent film producer in Canada.  She recently produced a short film for competition called “Jake and Jasper: A Ferret Tale.”  For my review of the movie, click here: Jake and Jasper.     Her current project is a full length feature movie, titled “The Ferret Squad.”   Max Jones is a teenager who recently moved with his father to California.  He smuggles his ferret, Digger, into the state.  His problems are just beginning.  Max meets up with a group of teenagers and form a club called “The Ferret Squad.”  Their mission is to rescue endangered ferrets and get them out of the state of California.    The movie will be privately produced.  Alison is fundraising for the cost of production.  In addition, 5% of the funds raised will go to Legalizeferrets.org. Take a few minutes and watch this trailer.  If you can, please donate to the production costs of the movie.  Every little bit of money helps.  I hope one day, everyone who wants a ferret can enjoy a furchild without fear.

The Ferret Squad

Jake and Jasper: A Ferret Tale

This is my first foray into movie reviews on my blog.  The movie is called “Jake and Jasper, a Ferret Tale.”  It was produced by Alison Parker, an independent professional film producer in Vancouver, BC.  It stars Connor Stanhope as Jake and Falcor the ferret as Jasper.

Synopsis:

Jake is struggling with the recent death of his mother.  He copes by withdrawing from family and friends.  Unfortunately, his withdrawal becomes a problem with his father.  His grieving father is not able to provide much emotional support to his two children, Jake and his older sister, Jesse.  Eventually, the grieving family drifts further apart.  Jesse gifts Jake a ferret named Jasper.   Jake finds a kindred soul to love and bonds.  After a conflict with his father, Jake is threatened by the loss of his beloved Jasper.  The two hit the road together and their adventure turns into danger.

The movie is a short film, only 25 minutes long.   However, it is an excellent family show.   It does not dwell on the sadness of loss.  It explores, although briefly, the results of unresolved grief on relationships.  It brings hope of love between brother and sister, boy and ferret.  In the end, there is a ray of hope of the healing of relationships.  Connor Stanhope does an excellent job as Jake.  His acting brings the pain of the young boy to life.  Falcor ferret is adorable.   It is a unique twist to see a ferret as the starring animal.

I give the movie 4.5 out of 5 stars.   I wish the characters could have been developed a little more.  Definitely purchase and view this movie if you’re a parent, child, teenager,  ferret or animal lover, or a human.

Movie Homepage: http://www.jake-and-jasper.com/

This is an amusing and effective promotional video shot to fund raise the production costs of Jake and Jasper.  It’s cute and worth viewing:

The producer entered the movie in several competitions.  Visit the website to view her awards, upcoming live screenings, and upcoming competitions and announcements.  The movie has won several awards already including,  the “Rising Star Award” at the Canadian International Film Festival, “The Award of Merit” at the Indie Film Festival.

One competition you can support is the International Movie Trailer Festival.  You can view the trailer and vote for it here:  http://www.internationalmovietrailerfestival.com/all-trailers/jake-jasper-a-ferret-tale/

Alison Parker plans to use the reward money, if she wins, to support her new project: a full length movie.  The new movie, The Ferret Squad, will address the issues surrounding the legal status of ferrets in California.  They are illegal.   The lives of ferrets discovered in California are in jeopardy.  They must be removed and relocated out of state.  Otherwise, they will be killed.

Alison Parker is on Facebook, as are Falcor Ferret, Connor Stanhope, and the Ferret Squad.  Visit her on Facebook to keep up to date of the progress of both Jake and Jasper and The Ferret Squad. 

Join the fun: get a copy of Jake and Jasper.  It is available at the movie website or you can also purchase a copy from ferret rescue and support their mission.