To date, 30 April, 2000, 295 ferrets have found their way to our
shelter. Of these, one was reunited with his owner, 13 became permanent
wards of the Society, 10 have died or been put to sleep for humane
reasons, two became the Society's mascot, and another 232 ferrets
were placed in new homes. Currently, 39 ferrets are awaiting adoption
and we have 0 more waiting to come into foster care. Many of these
animals require extensive medical care (see the case histories of
Ophelia and Mojo), much of which is dental work. The total cost
of care for these animals has been over $30,000, averaging about
$120 per ferret. To date, all medical expenses have been paid through
adoption fees, with the shortfall made good by the Directors of
the Society and the generosity of our vets who are willing to hold
a substantial debt.
Before you consider getting a ferret as a pet, please recognise
the responsibility that you are taking. To this end, please read
the following poem about Bandit, a neglected ferret who was rescued
Listless, and lying,
Fur matted and dull
"Bandit" lay crying,
Heart shattered, a shell.
Left in his cage,
All day and all night,
His life was such
That more food gave a fright!
His water was empty
Food bowl overturned
He filt kinda dizzy,
His stomach still churned.
Once he was loved
A long time ago
Felt young hands stroking,
That maded his heart glow!
Now he felt nothing,
No more was life fun.
His heart was empty
Now he had no-one.
His cage had felt big,
For it was just a bed.
No runs in the house now,
He may as well be dead.
He watched as his 'owner'
Walked past to the van,
Now left in the garage,
He rarely saw 'man.'
He slept all the time,
No toys in the cage.
If he'd had the heart,
He would be enraged!
Bandit lay crying,
Spine clearly shown,
Bandit lay dying,
His life overthrown.
One day he was taken.
Moved out of his cell,
He was badly shaken,
Now in for more hell!
Jaws latched on tight
A reaction of fear,
A hand gently stroked,
Too late now to care.
In his new cage,
Belly now tight,
Bandit's short life
Ended that night.
He died with some comfort,
Soft bedding and food
His water now filled,
(So much it was lewd!)
Bandit died knowing
That someone did care
Died with a heart
Full of love that was shared.
For those that no longer
Can care for their charges
Their lives are being begged for
By Bandit, and others
Before it's too late
(As it was with poor Bandit)
Go, take that baby,
To a shelter, do hand it
Do one final thing
For the love they have shown you
And give them a chance
To show others love, too.
By Sam Young, New Zealand
The Adoption Process
At FIRST, the adoption process is oriented to finding the ferrets
for which we have taken responsibility the best possible homes.
We want these homes to be permanent, so the utmost care is taken
in assessing the placements. Nothing is accomplished if the ferret
is unwanted within a few months and, if he is lucky, returned to
To this end, our adoption supervisors interview every potential
adoptor to ascertain the level of ferret knowledge, the reasons
for wanting a ferret as a companion, the lifestyle, and the home
environment. We then compare the potential adoptor's circumstances
with the dispositions and needs of the ferrets in foster care and
match the animals a closely as possible to the potential home.
Ferrets are not suitable to everyone's lifestyle, so we want to
ensure that the individual is aware of all aspects of ferretdom:
The nipping, the odd hours, the mischeivousness that comes from
the high intelligence and curiousity, and the potential problems
of litter-training, illnessess, etc. We will recommend reading,
visiting fosters, and talking with about ferrets. Many people are
enchanted with a friend's docile ferret or the sleeping angels in
the pet store. These are not the average ferret. We want to educate
you before you adopt. Remember, ferrets are like two-year-old children:
Just because they're cute, doesn't mean they are angels!
If the potential adoptor looking for a companion for his current
ferret, we still review ferret care with the potential adopter to
make sure he is as aware as possible about diet, illnesses, etc.
But in this case, the disposition of the adopter's current ferret
takes presidence. Our adoption supervisors will choose fosters of
a matching of age and personality to that of the adopter's ferret.
The adoptor and his ferret must meet the fosters, as it will be
the ferret who decide on who is adopted.
Whether adopting a ferret into a ferretless house or getting a
companion for the household ferret, the adoption process is the
same. Potential adoptors are put in contact with the fosters who
are caring for the most suitable ferrets. The adoptor meets the
fosters and the ferrets personally so thah he can ask about the
personality of the ferret, get to know him, and see if they get
along. Afterward the meeting, the potential adoptor goes home to
consider which ferret to adopt. He speaks with the adoption supervisor
to discuss how well he and the ferrets got along and the best match
is selected. A meeting to sign the Adoption Agreement is arranged,
and, thereafter, the new adopter can make arrangements to pick up
his new ferret.
Adoption fees are $95.00 for each healthy, vaccinated, descented,
and neutered/spayed ferret. All ferrets receive full medical care
before adoption and remain in foster care until they are ready for
a new home. A personal interview and the completion of an adoption
AGREEMENT is required.