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Ferreting out of jury duty

Ferret Common excuses to get out of jury duty: School, work, chronic illness, personal knowledge of the case.

Less common? My pet ferret needs me.

It was enough to get Prospective Juror #190 dismissed Tuesday from the trial of John Couey, the man accused of killing 9-year-old Jessica Lunsford two years ago. 

When Judge Richard Howard asked the potential juror, a nurse, if there was any reason she couldn't be a juror, she said: "Actually, yeah. I have a ferret and I live alone."

"You have a ferret?" the judge asked. "Is there anyone that can ferret-sit for you?"

"No."

With that, she was sent home. About 40 potential jurors will move on to a second round of questioning that begins Monday.

Snake In unrelated animal news, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue's Anti-Venom unit was called out to Hialeah Tuesday night. A resident called 911 after spotting a 2-foot black snake in the yard. The snake was reportedly acting menacing toward the resident's cat. 

The call ended without incident, says Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Lt. Elkin Sierra. The snake slivered away before the venom unit arrived, and the cat was apparently shaken but unscathed. 

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