Posted: October 15, 2009, 5:30 p.m. EDT
Michelle Bowers, a 24-year-old living in Nevada, will have reconstructive surgery as part of the television show Dr. 90210 to help correct some scars from an attack by the family ferret when she was an infant, the Nevada Appeal newspaper reported on Oct. 14, 2009.
As Bowers awaits her surgery with eager anticipation, some ferret enthusiasts worry about how the press coverage will affect the reputation of ferrets as pets.
"My worst fear is that [the media] will not point out that other pets have a worse rate for serious injury, or that parents need to watch any type of pet near a young child,” said Sukie Crandall, a longtime ferret owner from New Jersey, who posted her fears on the Ferret Mailing List and cited an article in a 1991 issue of the FDA Veterinarian, which states that the serious bite injury rate by ferrets is small compared to injuries by dogs (12 per year for ferrets versus 44,000 per year for dogs). Injury rates by ferrets are more similar to those of rabbits, Crandall said.
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