My name is Hildy and I live at a ferret shelter. Like the other ferrets here, I had a home before this. In my case, the person I lived with left me at a veterinarian’s office when he found out I needed surgery. The vet called my current mom because he knew she does ferret rescue and runs a shelter. She approved my surgery and gave me my beautiful new name (before I was “Anus”). Then I came to the ferret shelter as a permanent resident because of my age and the fact that I am not real steady on my feet. I have lived here with the other ferrets and mom for over a year. At the end of September, I had more surgery, and although my cancer has spread and I only have a few more months, my life here has been a happy one.
Right now, my mom is taking care of 28 ferrets beside me. They range in age from less than a year to 8 ½. About 1/3 of them are waiting to be adopted. The rest are like me-permanent residents. They are permanent residents for a variety of reasons. Some, like me, are “special needs” ferrets. Maybe they need medicine every day; maybe something else is going on, like being blind or deaf. Some won’t get adopted because of their age. Mom says that it is very hard for ferrets over 3 to get adopted, so she figures they are here to stay. Two of our permanent residents are young and healthy, but were mistreated before they came here, and as a result they are what mom calls “aggressive biters”. Mom doesn’t care though; she loves them just the same. She says she’s been bit before and will be bit again and that she thinks they earned the right.
I have heard people asking mom how much it costs her to keep all of us happy and healthy. She says she never figured it out and would probably cry if she did. She does tell people that she is currently going through the following supplies*:
18 cups of food per day. She feeds us a mix of Totally Ferret, Totally Ferret for Older Ferrets, and Ultra Ferret from 8 in 1.
A bottle of Ferret VitaSol every two days. She insists on giving us vitamins because so many of us had not been fed correctly before coming here. One poor guy had even gone bald because of nutritional deficiencies, whatever that is. He’s fine now though.
Just over 15 lbs of Yesterday’s News Lemon Scented Cat Litter every other day.
She also makes sure all of us are up to date on our Distemper Shots, get yearly checkups from the nice veterinarian, and any other needed medical attention.
About once a week she even gives us treats. I really like the chicken flavored soft ones (and she is spoiling me right now, so that is what we are getting lately).
We would really like a couple of new ferrets condos, but mom says the old one has to do even though it is ripped, because they are just not in the budget right now. I know Mischa would like another one, he is willing to share, but Sweetie isn’t.
Before I go I have to tell you about Mischa. He was my brother at my old home. He came here a couple of months ago because he is six and has gone blind and our old owner says he just doesn’t play anymore. He got a new name here too; he was called “Fathead” before. He likes it here. We all do. We all live in a big room with three open cages that have big towels hung as hammocks. There are lots of soft blankets to curl up in. We run and play with each other, sleep curled up together, have food and water all the time, and best of all, we are loved just for being us.
*This story was written 10/17/2000. The number of ferrets under the care of Fox Valley Ferret has gone up substantially since then, as has the amount of food, litter and other supplies they go through.