Are Ferrets Legal In Florida? Latest Information (2022)

Ferrets can make great pets, but many places in the US don’t agree. In some states, this has resulted in outright bans, while other states impose strict regulations against ferret ownership. There are many reasons behind this, from centuries-old stigma to genuine wildlife concerns, but it can be frustrating if it’s your dream to own one. If you’re wondering whether ferrets are legal in Florida, and what restrictions you may face, you’ve come to the right place.

This article will equip you with the latest information regarding the legalities and regulations of ferrets in Florida. We’ll also talk about potential restrictions on purchasing ferrets, where you can get them from, and how much you’d be looking to pay.

Are Ferrets Legal In Florida?

Ferrets are categorized as exotic animals by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) but are completely legal in Florida. You are free to own a ferret as a pet anywhere within the state and may do so without restrictions or prejudice from law enforcement.

That isn’t to say everyone agrees with the ruling. Genuine concerns have been raised about ferret colonization that may occur when they run away, causing a real threat to wildlife. Considering Florida is one of the most biodiverse states in the entire country, this worry can be easily understood.

So far, petitions for change have been unsuccessful, so you’re free to legally own a ferret in Florida for the foreseeable.

Do You Need A Permit For Ferrets In Florida?

As mentioned above, ferrets are classified as exotic animals by the FWC. Many of these animals fall into 3 categories, from Class I to Class III, and you require a permit before you’re allowed one in your own home.

There is, however, a class list completely separate from the three mentioned above; domesticated animals. This includes animals like ferrets, squirrels, and even llamas, that while technically ‘exotic’, do not require the need for regulation.

This means that you do not need a permit to own a ferret, and can choose to become a proud ferret owner whenever you feel prepared to be. Because ferrets are not domesticated in the slightest, they are also easier to resource, as anywhere can sell and breed them.

How Much Is A Ferret In Florida?

Ferrets cost significantly cheaper in Florida than in other states due to the lack of regulation and red tape. If you go to a commercial pet store, you’re looking at spending $75-$250 depending on the age, health, and breed of a ferret. Prices may lessen if you use a ferret rescue center, or increase to as much as $400 for a ferret from a private breeder.

Many factors contribute to the cost of a ferret, in Florida and the US in general.

One of the main factors is the age of the ferret. Ferrets have an average lifespan of just 8-10 years, so you’ll pay considerably less for a ferret that is a couple of years old compared to a kit, or baby ferret. From private breeders, kits in sought-after areas of Florida go for up to $500!

Another thing that affects the price of a ferret is the color of your ferret. Ferrets are considered to be the same species, so they are separated by color differences rather than breed. Below is the rough cost you’ll pay for some of the most common ferret breeds in Florida.

White Albino$50-$130
Sable $130-$200
Black Sable $130-$200
Champagne $150-$300
Chocolate $150-$300
Cinnamon $200-$400

Where Can You Buy Ferrets In Florida?

Due to the lack of restrictions on ferret ownership in Florida, you can buy ferrets in many different ways.

Pet Stores

One of the first options people will look at when buying a ferret is commercialized, or local, pet stores. Here in Florida, we have plenty, so you have lots of options to explore if you choose this route.

One of the big companies to sell them here is PetCo, which advertises their ferrets when they have them available. There are three locations in Florida, which means you’ll probably have one local if you choose this option.

PetSmart, on the other hand, has decided against selling ferrets in their store, so they would be one to avoid. Some have speculated the specific care needs of a ferret are more intensive than most small pets. While this could be the case, PetSmart has always sold fewer small pets than most of its competition.

Rescue Centres

There are many ferret rescue centers in Florida that offer adoption, boarding and even surrendering services if you’re no longer able to care for your ferret. A couple we have heard of include Broward Ferret Rescue and Navarre Ferret Rescue. If these aren’t close to you, you should find plenty of options by searching Google for local ferret shelters in your area.

The downside to this option is ferrets are not always available at every rescue, even specialized ones, and you may have to look around a few to find one. It may take even longer if you’re looking for a younger ferret or a certain color.

If you have experience with ferrets but aren’t ready to take one on long-term, some ferret rescue centers in Florida are crying out for foster home volunteers. This involves taking the ferret home for some time while a forever home is found for them. You may even want to try this option before buying your first ferret, but you may need some experience beforehand to provide them with the best care possible.

Private Breeders

Another way of legally purchasing a ferret in Florida is to go through a private breeder. Ferrets are a very niche animal, so it’s likely breeders are doing it out of passion and not because of profit. This means you could be provided with some great tips for looking after your ferret once you get it home that you may not have previously been aware of.

Ferret breeders also aren’t likely to be big operations. You could be purchasing from someone whose ferret accidentally got pregnant, or who wanted their ferret to have kits before it’s spayed.

One of the downsides of private breeders is that there is no regulation. Even without those enforced by states, pet stores and rescue centers will have their own standards to make sure ferrets are looked after and treated well. If your ferret comes home and there are issues with its health, you cannot take it back. Like many private exchanges, ferret sales are usually sold as seen deals.

Private ferret breeders can also charge what they want, which means you might be overcharged. Although, if there’s a specific ferret you’re after, paying over the odds may be worth it.

If you do go down this route, looking on places like Craigslist and Gumtree may be good places to start. Places like Facebook strictly deny pet for sale advertisements, so you may not have much luck there.

Final Thoughts

Florida has some of the least restrictive laws when it comes to ferret ownership in the US. Not only is owning ferrets completely legal in Florida, but you can do so without regulations in place. This is because ferrets are considered domesticated exotic animals according to the FWC.

If you want to buy a ferret in Florida, you have many options thanks to the open market. You can choose between pet stores, private breeders, and even dedicated rescue centers–whatever works best for you.

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