Troy Lynn Eckart, F.B.S., received her first ferret as a wedding gift in 1985 and fell head over heals in love with Nipper. In August of 1997, she founded Ferret Family Services, a public service organization devoted to ferret information, education and welfare, which she runs in addition to a full-time job. FFS is based in northeast Kansas.
Highlights of Eckart’s work with ferrets include:
- In 1993, Kansas authorities requested that a local ferret that had bitten someone be killed and tested for rabies. Eckart heard about the case and spent more than 3,000 hours researching rabies and compiling data with the help of several ferret agencies. The case went to court, but before a ruling was made, that ferret and its cagemate disappeared. The owners later received an anonymous note stating that their ferrets were safe.
- In 1994, Eckart was appointed the National Rabies Information Coordinator for the League of Independent Ferret Enthusiasts.
- In 1996, Ferret Family Services suffered an outbreak of epizootic catarrhal enteritis (ECE) after purchasing a sick ferret. FFS cease taking in adoptable ferrets and instead placed them directly from one home to the next, which it continues to do to this day.
- FFS has experience with ferrets suffering medical conditions from the typical ones to the not-so-typical. Each ailment provides the opportunity to work closely with its veterinarian and to learn so that information can be shared with others.
||Love is being owned by ferrets!
Today, Eckart shares her home with special-needs ferrets (sick, old, behavior-challenged) and two dogs.
“I search for the silver lining in each experience,” Eckart said. “Sometimes when it seems so bleak, it takes longer to find, even if it is only being able to provide warmth, comfort and love to a dying ferret. Ferrets are the most wonderful beings, and they have taught me so much. This is what I think about when I’m too tired, emotionally drained, or financially strapped to go on, and it helps me to find the strength to continue.”
||Love them with all your heart, care for them the right way. They won’t be here forever.
Eckart’s ferret philosophy: “I believe with ferrets you can have the ‘don’t be a ferret’ or ‘be a ferret and enjoy life’ attitude. If you want nice things all the time and well-behaved critters, then you definitely don’t need ferrets, or any type of animal for that matter. Ferrets have such a genuine joy to be alive that they can occasionally be wearing on the most easygoing person. If we watch what they are ‘doing’ instead of ‘what’ they are doing, then we can see the humor and gaiety in almost any situation.”
Eckart’s favorite recipe:
One or more humans
One or more ferrets
One heaping helping of love
Sprinkle with hugs and kisses
Mix well and enjoy!
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