Mary Van Dahm is the former director of the Greater Chicago Ferret Association and the founder and the former director of the FAIR ferret rescue and the Ferret Advice and Information Resource. She has been involved with animals all of her life, but met her first ferret in 1987, which changed her life forever. She has since rescued or cared for more than 5,000 of these fascinating animals. Although she no longer runs a shelter, she continues to assist other ferret shelters when she can.
Van Dahm's informal education about these fascinating creatures came from the guiding hands of Dr. Susan Brown, former owner of the Midwest Bird and Exotic Animal Hospital. With Dr. Brown's training and her own natural instinct, Van Dahm learned about these animals literally inside and out, assisting with surgeries and advanced medical care. She was able to develop a successful treatment protocol for the ECE virus, when that disease was rampant in the ferret community, and saved the lives of many ferrets infected with the virus.
||Ferrets are God's little clowns - no matter how bad your day is, they can always make you smile!
While ferrets are Van Dahm's main passion, she has also handled other exotics through her rescue. Along with rats, rabbits, guinea pigs, mice, gerbils and hamsters, she has also cared for sugar gliders, prairie dogs, chinchillas, hedgehogs, deer mice, mink, Chinese polecats, a pot-bellied pig and an armadillo.
Van Dahm has been writing for Ferrets magazine for about 12 years now and has contributed many articles on ferret behavior and care. She is also a regular writer for their Acting Up column, formerly in print and now online. She previously wrote and published The FAIR Report, her shelter's newsletter, and has contributed articles for other ferret clubs as well.
Van Dahm currently lives in the suburbs near Chicago with her husband, Kurt, and 4 four-footed friends.
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