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Man Allegedly Kills Ferret in St. Louis Airport; AFA Calls For Ferret Owners to Take Action

Posted: February 14, 2003

The AFA has been made aware of a disturbing situation that was reported in various news sources on February 7, 2003. Allegedly, a man traveling from New York to Phoenix on an American Airlines flight smuggled a ferret on-board, and during a layover in St. Louis when the man was not permitted to board with the animal, he killed it in an airport restroom.

Apparently rather than missing his flight, the man, who the AFA has not yet been able to identify, took the ferret into a restroom and first attempted to flush the ferret down a toilet. When that did not work, he then allegedly stomped the ferret to death.

The American Ferret Association is extremely dismayed at this situation and is in the process of a letter-writing campaign on several aspects of this case.

First, the American Ferret Association intends to press the St. Louis prosecuters office heavily to ensure that the perpetrator of this violent, senseless crime is punished to the full extent of the law.

The second concern of the AFA is that American Airlines revisit their "no ferrets in the cabin" pet traveling policy. As many ferret owners are aware, it is often extremely difficult to obtain permission to travel on airlines with ferrets. Had American Airlines not refused to consider amending their policies as they have been repeatedly requested to do, this situation would not have ever happened.

The third concern is the result of publicity following the incident. Reportedly, the DJs of "The Bob and Tom Show," a morning radio show on station KSHE 95 in St. Louis, poked fun at the incident and joked about the man's attempt to flush a ferret down a toilet, and also falsely reported that the ferret survived. The AFA strongly opposes the dialogue as being tasteless and cruel, and intends to make their position heard.

All ferret owners are encouraged to join in the letter-writing campaign to put pressure on everyone involved in this situation to attempt to elicit some good out of a painfully tragic situation.

Letters may be sent to the following addresses:

To contact the prosecutor's office in St. Louis County to urge prosecutors to press this case to the full extent of the law:

Robert P. McCulloch
Prosecuting Attorney
Office of the Prosecuting Attorney
100 South Central Avenue - Second Floor
Clayton, MO 63105
(314) 615-2600

To express concern about American Airlines' "no pets in the cabin" policy, send letters to:

American Airlines
P.O. Box 619612
MD 2400
DFW Airport, Texas 75261-9612

To contact the station that broadcasts the Bob and Tom show in St. Louis to express your feelings on the callous and tasteless joking by the DJs on this tragic situation, write to both of the following:

Spencer Koch
General Manager
800 St. Louis Union Station
The Powerhouse
St. Louis, Missouri 63103

KSHE's parent company (and the hometown of the Bob and Tom show):

Mr. Jeffrey Smulyan
EMMIS Communications
One EMMIS Plaza
40 Monument Circle, Suite 700
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204

The American Ferret Association will be posting official letters sent to each of these places here on the AFA website - check back in this spot often as we will post them as soon as possible.

The following are the news stories reported on about this situation. The links have since expired.

  • Man allegedly kills ferret he brought on plane (2/7/03)
  • Passenger Allegedly Beats Ferret to Death (2/8/03)