Posted: October 14, 2010, 7:25 p.m. EDT
© Marylou Zarbock/BowTie Inc.
The Pittsburgh Ferret Symposium featured many great speakers, as have all the ferret symposiums; but ferret symposiums also offer a lot more to do in addtion to attending talks.
Many ferret enthusiasts have eagerly awaited details about the next International Ferret Congress (IFC) symposium. The last symposium took place in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in November 2008. The wait for details on the next symposium is over. This week, the IFC announced that the Phoenix symposium slated for June 3 to 5, 2011 will take place at the Fiesta Inn Resort Conference Center in Tempe, Arizona (which is part of the Phoenix metro area).
Joel Vanderbush returns as Master of Ceremonies. He held this role at the Pittsburgh symposium. He was also auctioneer at the fundraising auction that year, and he ended up getting his head shaved to raise money for ferrets. When asked what he was most looking forward to at the Phoenix event, he said he hopes someone else gets their head shaved to raise more than $2,000 for ferret research. He added, “I hope this starts a trend.”
Speakers include Dr. Matti Kiupel, Dr. Robert Wagner, Dr. Jerry Murray, Dr. Avery Bennett, Bev Lowton, Barb Carlson and Ailigh Vanderbush. Medical topics range from ECE to adrenal gland disease to common surgeries and more. And, for the first time, there will be a first-aid and disaster workshop. (First Aid Kits and Disaster Workshop presented by F.E.R.R.E.T and sponsored by PetSmart Charities.) Other topics include ferreting, nursing sick ferrets and behavior problems.
Ailigh Vanderbush is speaking about behavior problems in ferrets, but at this event she also has additional plans. “I’m looking forward to catching up with old friends, making new ones and learning lots of new information on ferrets,” she said.
There’s a lot scheduled to happen at this symposium, with more possibly to occur. Updates are posted on the IFC website, and discussion and roommate information can be found at the Ferret Symposium Yahoo list.
IFC event coordinator, Renee Downs, said she's looking forward to seeing people she hasn't seen since the last symposium. She also gave insight into some of this year's speakers. "[They] include some we have not been able to schedule in the past due to conflicts," Downs said. "Danee Devore and the Education Committee decided to address some specific topics in which there has been a great deal of interest and research. She was able to secure some very good speakers, with the help of her committee. Those who are returning are being invited back for a specific purpose, and we are looking forward to that."
Downs also offered more information about the Fiesta Inn Resort Conference Center. "We have worked hard to obtain a great location at a great price. The hotel has numerous amenities, such as a spa at a discount rate, transportation, free hot breakfasts, pool and nice grounds." Downs said. "I want to encourage everyone to stay on site to take advantage of these amenities. Also, we will have a hospitality suite and the one or two meals not covered by the registration fee can be had there." She also urged people to check out the Yahoo list to chat about the event and possibly find a roommate. "[A room rate of] $75 per night is cheap, $37.50 per night is even less! Meet someone new!"
Sponsors for the Phoenix International Ferret Symposium include FerretDepot.com, Oxbow, Petfinder.com, and Melatek, L.L.C.
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