In 1987, a small group of ferret owners created a ferret club in Montgomery County, Maryland. As the
club expanded, members began to organize ferret shows, "fun match" competitions and educational events.
To reflect this growth, a new charter was written in 1990 and the club became the mid-Atlantic Ferret
By this time, the domestic ferret had become the third most popular interactive household pet in the USA.
People from all over the country were eager to get more information about ferrets. It became apparent that
yet another change was required to meet the needs of ferret owners everywhere. The organization adopted a
national focus and became the American Ferret Association (AFA) on January 1, 1991. Following this change,
AFA was incorporated in the state of Maryland in April 1992 and received 501(c)(3) status in August 1992.
AFA has gone through many changes over the years, but we are continuing to expand our services and programs.
Our plans include the development of seminars and educational material on ferrets, expanding our ferret show
schedule, encouraging continuing education programs for ferret veterinarians and providing support to the
Black Footed Ferret Program.
- To promote the domestic ferret as a companion animal through public education via shows, newsletters,
legislative education, and other venues.
- To protect the domestic ferret against anti-ferret legislation, mistreatment, unsound breeding practices
and overpopulation, needless scientific research, and any practice deemed to lower the health standards or
survivability of the animal.
- To provide constant and up-to-date information about veterinarians, legislative activities, medical
developments, research data, rescue shelters and other information of interest to ferret fanciers everywhere.
Services and Programs
- EXPERT INFORMATION
- The AFA is a source of ferret related information from the country's leading ferret experts.
- VETERINARY REFERRALS
- The AFA can provide you with local veterinary referrals.
- SHELTER REFERRALS
- If you wish to adopt a ferret, the AFA can direct you to a shelter or rescue near you. If you operate
a shelter or are thinking of doing so, you may wish to purchase the AFA's Shelter Guidelines handbook.
- BREEDER REFERRALS
- Looking for a new addition? Ask the AFA for a list of breeders in your area. Additionally, the AFA
provides education and support for breeders throughout the USA and overseas to encourage sound breeding
and husbandry practices.
- SEMINARS AND DEMONSTRATIONS
- Learn more about ferrets and ferret care by attending one of the AFA's educational seminars or demonstrations.
- VETERINARY SYMPOSIUM
- Veterinarians and others interested in veterinary medicine can advance their knowledge at the AFA's
Comprehensive Veterinary Symposium: Management of the Ferret.
- LEGISLATIVE ACTIVITIES
- The AFA provides data, resources and support for ferret supporters working toward legislation that
will protect the domestic ferret and the rights of ferret owners.
- SHOW SANCTIONING
- Every year, the AFA sanctions a number of championship ferret shows throughout the country.
- SHOW STANDARDS AND TITLES
- The AFA continues to develop and maintain a professional ferret show system and judging standard. The AFA
trains, licenses and provides continuing education for ferret judges and maintains a database of points and
titles awarded at AFA sanctioned shows.
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American Ferret Association, Inc., the American Ferret Association logo, and the phrase "Ferret Expo" are registered
trademarks of the American Ferret Association, Inc.