Ferrets can end up in shelters for many different reasons, the most common being;
- Abandoned by their owners as they could no longer care for them or were bought as an impulse buy or as a present
- They had escaped from their home and were taken to a rescue centre, such as intact males straying to search for females
- They have been rescued from appalling conditions/cruelty cases
- They can get lost during ferreting
- They can be 'released' by their owners due to too many kits or not enough funds for neutering
One thing that I would stress is that kits (young ferrets) are not ideal for first time ferret owners. They are very nippy and need to be properly nip trained. Many kits end up in rescue centres as their owners find them unmanageable. My two were 6 months old when we rescued them, and were still in the biting stage, since they are my first ferrets it was hard at first to see a light at the end of the tunnel. They are now the gentlest little guys.
I rescued my ferrets and my dog who sadly had to be put to sleep in September. I can remember cradling my boy Alfie in my arms, saw he was blind in one eye and fell in love immediately! I just couldn't put him back in the cage and drive off with a different ferret, I didn't want him to be overlooked because of his cataract. My husband fell in love with another albino male and that is how we went looking for two non albino females and came away with two albino hobs! It was meant to be for us.
I don't know anything about my ferrets' backgrounds except that they are brothers, and you know what? I don't want to know. It's enough to know that they now have a loving forever home with all the cuddles and treats they could ask for.
Not all ferrets are as lucky as Alfie and Shiro though, many are still looking for new loving homes, some being constantly overlooked due to imperfections or behaviour problems. Baby ferrets are cute, but they don't stay kits forever! Please remember when you are tempted by those cute baby eyes the conditions in which some large scale breeders operate in. By buying ferrets from a pet store or breeder you are keeping them going, and ensuring the ongoing suffering of many breeding stock ferrets.
Not all breeders are irresponsible, but I would always rescue ferrets, as for every pet store ferret sold there is another in a rescue waiting for its second chance at happiness.
The two videos that I am about to share with you were brought to my attention via a ferret page on Facebook. The first shows the work of ferret rescuers in a case where the farmer actually admitted that he could no longer care for the ferrets at his facility. It has images of the appalling conditions that they ferrets were found in as well as some heart-warming photos of some of the ferrets they rescued.
The second video is mainly to show the care and love that ferrets receive once they are rescued from various situations and levels of neglect. Just be warned-you may need some tissues!
For the second video please follow this link http://www.manitobaferrets.ca/reality/whysheltersexist.html
If you are interested in providing a rescue ferret with its forever home then please either contact your local ferret club, veterinarian or ferret forum for details of ferret rescue organisations close to you. Alternatively you could do what I did and search for ferret rescues in your area online via a search engine such as google.