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October 15, 2009

Ferrets in the North (Prince George, British Columbia)

I’m sure you’ve all admired one of these little critters if you’ve ever visited Total Pet or Petland in Prince George.  They come from the same family as badgers, wolverines, otters, mink, weasels, black footed ferrets and polecats. If you are one of the few folks that think they are rodents, you stand corrected…though not alone.

To say the least, ferrets are very interesting fur balls. They’ve been catching on in Prince George recently, something which I am both glad for and loathe. Glad, as its easier for me, despise for the fact it means so many of them will end up in the SPCA over the course of the next year or two. Unlike the minority, most folks tend to impulse buy their animals, and exotics tend to be the ones that suffer quite heavily. And as exotics go, ferrets get expensive down the road.

—Then again, what animal doesn’t, I wonder?

This very knowledge, however, makes me glad that Prince George has also developed its very own, specialised rescue and education organization for ferrets. Ferrets in the North has my high hopes of becoming an excellent alternative to the SPCA, as well as lessening the amount of impulse buys to varying degrees. Perhaps, just perhaps, we will have more educated ferret owners in this area because of it. And that is really encouraging.

Recently, I heard of a group of five ferrets from their website looking for a home, and adopted them. They were being fostered in the lower mainland, under the care of FIRST (Ferret Information Rescue Shelter Trust society) but had, as of only a few weeks ago, little hope of being adopted out.

Originally I signed onto it as a “permanent fosterer” (basically, you didn’t technically own them, but unless they were adopted out they were with you for life, and their medical was covered), but this quickly changed. While one sadly passed away before being flown up, the remaining four are some of the sweetest furries I’ve ever had the gift of living with.

Course, you could also just consider it New Owner Enthusiasm (or NOE), but I am content in the fact that this will remain unchanged. With the number of animals currently living under our roof at ten, you can officially classify me as insane. But I don’t care—heaven is in our home!

Many people say they smell bad. To be honest, it all depends on the person and how used to it you become. To me, it is a fairly sweet, musky scent, comparable to wet dog. I don’t find it unappealing (despite how so many people wince and shudder when I give such a comparison), but I don’t find it pleasant. For some, it is unbearable I imagine. Others don’t even notice it. I do, but I don’t mind it…I actually like the smell of wet dog, to a degree!

I encourage prospective owners to consider adding a pair or trio of ferrets to their menagerie, but only after doing a fair deal of research. They are very smart, much more so than Rover or Fluffy. They get into everything. They are little thieves (Rascal, my guy, tries to drag his crinkle bag under the couch!)…yet, its impossible not to laugh with them around. Playtime is quickly becoming a much anticipated part of my day, and I feel I will have many more fun filled days ahead with them.

To find out more about Ferrets in the North, check out their website at http://www.ferretsnorth.org/ .

Happy “wardancing”, and may you “dook” much in the days ahead!

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