The story of Kodo the ferret is a pretty depressing one.
In 1997 Kodo was taking part in a national pet show in Michigan. An elderly gentleman reached out to pet Kodo and his canine just lightly scraped the man’s knuckle, causing it to bleed slightly.
The gentleman didn’t complain but when he mentioned it to his wife, his comments were overheard by Karen Burns, the animal control officer on duty there.
She took it upon herself to insist that the man filled out a bite complaint and when he refused, she filled it out herself. She then took Kodo from his owners and, despite the fact that all his vaccinations were up-to-date and correct, she wanted the ferret euthanized to be tested for rabies.
Well! You can imagine the uproar amongst all the ferret owners about this travesty of justice, not only in America but around the world.
At the time, I used to spend a lot of time on the Ferret Chat Server and had made a lot of friends in the States.
When we heard about what happened to Kodo, we were galvanized into doing whatever we could to say him from being killed.
We found out who we should write to and then fired off letters and emails to all the authorities involved. Heck, we even wrote to Bill Clinton twice, asking him to intervene in this insane nonsense and “pardon” poor Kodo.
The ferret community worldwide seemed to be up till all hours of the night and day on the FCS chatting and plotting and writing letters and emails, getting all the support we could to help Kodo.
The ferret was in quarantine and didn’t show any signs of illness at any stage, he had all his innocuations and they were all up-to-date, he hadn’t bitten the man, just scratched his knuckle – and the man admitted it was his own fault! And still the authorities were hell bent on euthanizing Kodo.
There were so many ups and downs during those weeks – Kodo’s owners were doing everything they could to stop him from being killed and there were times when we all thought it would turn out okay. Then something else happened, and it the situation looked grim again. Talk about a roller coaster ride.
Well, regrettably after about 40 days of dramas, the authorities finally got their way.
Kodo was euthanized and examined and found to NOT have rabies.
So, for those of you who are in countries were there is a problem with rabies, please make sure nothing like this happens to your ferret.