Here's what Chris had to say about it:
Funny thing is we knew the animal in question who was indeed not a dog or a cat, but a lost ferret. I think the ambiguity was twofold - for one I've been told ferrets are illegal to own in California; and secondly to allow the proper owner to identify the pet in question.
We hope the "small furry animal" made it back home! (We'll update when we hear back from Chris.)