Abandoned ferret found outside Banning City Hall

Abandoned ferret found outside Banning City Hall

BANNING — A caged ferret apparently kept as a pet was dumped outside Banning City Hall on Tuesday, where the small mammal was found in a crate with a pile of French fries, which animal control officers quickly learned was its favorite treat.

Riverside County Department of Animal Services spokesman John Welsh said the brown-and-white weasel-like creature was dropped in front of the municipal building at 99 E. Ramsey St. about 2:30 a.m.

According to Welsh, city workers found the animal and took it indoors to await the arrival of animal control personnel.

“The biggest thing we noticed is that it stunk,” Banning City Manager Doug Schulze said.

The malodor did not stop workers from treating the animal “lovingly and humanely,” Welsh said.

“One employee wrapped the critter in a towel,” he said.

Animal control officers found a load of French fries with the ferret and fed them to it.

“The ferret loves French fries,” Department of Animal Services Officer Eric Mangum said. “Whoever abandoned the animal left bunches of fries.”

According to Welsh, California law prohibits ownership of ferrets. Whoever left the animal at City Hall could face a misdemeanor charge for abandonment of a pet, he said.

The ferret was taken to the Western Riverside County Animal Shelter in Jurupa Valley and will likely be turned over to game wardens with the California Department of Fish & Wildlife, Welsh said.