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COURT MAY DECIDE FATE OF PET FERRET IN LAYTON

A Layton family has sent its pet ferret into hiding rather than turn it over to animal-control officers, and the standoff now is headed for court.

The ferret fray erupted two weeks ago when Letitia and Blane Cox found a notice on their door telling them they had 10 days to get their pet out of Layton or risk his execution.The family complied but then received a second citation when they refused to disclose the whereabouts of the ferret, named Vladimir.

"It's hard to tell someone where your pet is when all they want to do is kill it," said Letitia Cox.

Davis County Animal Control Director DeAnne Hess said Friday she wants to know where the critter is. Once she's sure Vladimir no longer calls Davis County home, she'll consider the standoff over.

But Cox says she isn't about to tell Hess or anyone else where Vladimir's staying.

Davis County has an ordinance banning ferrets and other exotic pets, and Hess said it has been enforced for five years.

Cox said she won't reveal Vladimir's whereabouts because she wants to protect him and keep anyone from harassing his foster family. So she went to the courthouse and set a hearing for Thursday.

"I think I'd rather just talk to the judge about this," said Cox, who considers the animal control officers "anything but helpful."

"If they would have asked nicely, maybe we would have told them where Vlad is," she said.