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City orders woman to get rid of ferrets

August 01, 2003|by SCOTT BUTKI

A one-car garage in Hagerstown allegedly was used as a ferret-breeding facility by a woman who was ordered to remove about 75 ferrets from the property she is renting, city officials said Thursday.

City and Humane Society of Washington County officials went to the rented garage at 610 Chestnut St. on July 22 to investigate complaints from several residents of foul odors, Hagerstown Zoning Administrator Steven Bockmiller said Thursday. The garage is detached from a house that is rented to other people, he said.

"The place was stacked with wired cages containing in the vicinity of 75 ferrets," Bockmiller said.

There did not appear to be any ventilation in the garage when city and Washington County Humane Society officials entered it, Bockmiller said.


The Humane Society had no comment Thursday on its investigation, said Tracey Bowman, a Humane Society board member.

There was urine and feces throughout the garage, Bockmiller said.

Asked if the garage had an offensive smell, Bockmiller said, "That does not begin to describe it. Let's just say it was odorous."

Mary Kay Sumner, a city compliance building inspector, gave the garage tenant, Diane Buchman, a notice of a sanitation violation and ordered Buchman to clear the odor within five days, city officials said.

John Lestitian, chief code enforcement officer, said the odor no longer is a problem.

Bockmiller decided that Buchman was operating without a business license in a residential area and told her she had 30 days to move her business. He said he did not know if she has done so.

The property owners are Lorne and Lisa Ridenour of Hagerstown.

The Ridenours and Buchman did not return phone calls Thursday.

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