banner for Critters In The Family contest

Many people think of dogs and cats as part of the family, but small animal pets are sometimes forgotten by those who have never owned one. In this contest, small animal owners shared stories about why their small animal pets are family members too. Who couldn't be touched by the stories of moral support and comfort that these pets offer, or by hearing how a pet rescued from a bad situation finally knows what it's like to be part of a family?

Everyone who shares their life with a small animal pet is already a winner, because that pet adds to the family.

For this contest, choosing one winner was a challenge. The stories were all so heartwarming. That honor, by just a bit, goes to a ferret named Loki. Congratulations!

And let's not forget our runners-up. Congratulations to Princess Fiona the chinchilla and to rabbits Felix, Moka, Teddy, Oreo, Dori and Nemo.

Do not miss seeing all the entries, click here>>

ferret in bag
Loki the ferret.

"Loki, our ferret, has become a huge part of our family. We recently had to move in with my mother-in-law who doesn't like ferrets, and she was hesitant of us bringing him. After we had been here we had to leave for a night. My mother-in-law asked if Loki needed to be fed. We asked her if she would please. As she was feeding him he wanted to crawl up her arm and cuddle. After feeding Loki, she picked him up and started to play with him. When we returned the next morning, she said he had started to get attached. We never thought she would have ever done any of this. Our dog, whom we had before Loki, has formed a mommy-bond with him as well. She is like a mother hen when he is out playing. She cleans him and keeps watch to be sure he is OK. He has also lightened my heavy heart with the loss of my cat. Loki has been that extra special critter that we never expected to provide so much love and comedy relief. Our daughter has learned to be a very good pet owner and to be creative with new ideas to keep Loki happy. I am so grateful he is in our lives. Loki has mended my heart and made a nonlover of small creatures into a lover."
— Melissa 

chinchilla on woman's shoulder
Princess Fiona the chinchilla.

"Fiona is a rescue chinchilla, she is 1 year old and spent her entire first year inside a cage as an "exotic decoration." Now that she is part of our family she has time out of her cage every morning to play with us. She is so sweet and friendly. She jumps on my shoulder and comes to me when I pat my leg. She now knows what it is to be part of a family instead of just in a cage all day."
— Teresa

rabbits eating
Rabbits Felix, Moka, Teddy, Oreo, Dori and Nemo

"My bunnies are a family by themselves. They groom each other all the time and enjoy cuddling with each other at every moment they get. My bunny family is also a big part of my family. When I wake up in the morning, the first thing I hear is the clang of their playpen when they stand against it waiting for me. My bunnies trust me, and I trust them to be a reliable, fun, snuggly friend. They cheer me up when I am down, make me laugh when I am angry and keep me in a good mood. When I get home from school, they are always waiting to play. After a long day, I can play with them and forget my worries. When I am with them, nothing else matters except their love, sweetness and play. I look forward to spending time with them every single day of my life. I go to bed thinking about them and dream of them. I love my bunnies so much that words cannot describe it! I can talk to them about anything, my troubles and problems. No matter what they put me in a good mood. I cannot imagine what my life would be like without them. I can't imagine waking up and not seeing a group of happy bunnies eagerly waiting for my arrival."


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