Sixteen ferrets confiscated from a man in Santa Ana will be moved to a rescue sanctuary operated by a group licensed to care for them.
On Wednesday, 23-year-old Sebastian Swisher was cited after Santa Ana animal control officers found the illegal animals in his home. Animal Services officials were working Thursday to transfer them to a rescue sanctuary.
Swisher was arrested and released on suspicion of importation, transportation and possession of live restricted animals, said Cpl. Anthony Bertagna of the Santa Ana Police Department.
Orange County Animal Care officials said Thursday that the animals were headed to a sanctuary to be cared for by a group licensed with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.
“We’re trying to make the move happen as soon as possible,” said Jennifer Hawkins, director of the animal care agency. Hawkins would not elaborate about the group’s name or location but did say they likely would be moved out of state.
She did, however, confirm that the animals would not be euthanized.
“The only reason we would consider that is if they were at risk to public health or they were suffering.”
Hawkins said the 1-to-2-year-old “bright, playful” bunch were in good health.
Ferrets are illegal in California, and people who risk keeping them there often wind up facing their pets’ deportation or killing.