Posted: July 1, 2010, 5 a.m. EDT
© Courtesy Linda Soule
The ferrets at the shelter play in the ferret room in different groupings.
Life At Ferrets With Soul(e)
Soule said she starts working for the ferrets as soon as her feet hit the floor in the morning, and within 10 minutes she’s making their soup and getting medications ready.
"Of course, I have to hand out some treats as I am fixing the soup,” Soule said, "otherwise, it wouldn't be a pretty picture in the ferret room. The kids are already crowded around the soup bowls and some even sitting in them. Guess, they don't want to be left out.”
She then checks on any new ferrets, switches a couple groups of ferrets and starts cleaning and playing with the ferrets.
"I go into the bathroom and turn on the shower, and then I have about a dozen soaking wet kids running around on the papers that I had just laid down on the floor. If it is the day for the bedding to be changed, I set up the cage with the help of several kids, which takes a bit longer but they are having fun and so am I. I strip the floors of all bedding, newspapers and boxes. Then I start in one corner of the room and work my way around scrubbing the floors, changing all of the water, filling up the food bowls, handing out some Ferretone and redressing the floor with a comforter and a child's sleeping bag. My old girls love sleeping on the floor in the bags.”
It takes Soule about three or four hours to clean the top floor of the ferret area. Then she switches around the ferret groups again. From there, she starts in on laundry, cleaning the ferret bowls, the downstairs and her bedroom. This is also when she’ll work in feeding any sick ferrets that need food every two or three hours around the clock.
"If I have vet appointments, then that is done after my cleaning,” Soule said. "Some weeks I am at the vet every day, and that isn't much fun. Then I have to start doing the same routine in the evening. [It] doesn't leave much time to do much of anything else.”
But Soule does get help from Chris Moses and Caleb Nugent when they can lend a hand, and her friend Mel Sartuche steps in when Soule needs to go out of town.
Vet For The Shelter
The veterinarian who cares for the ferrets of the Ferrets With Soul(e) shelter is Dr. Cameron Ross at the Carson Valley Vet Hospital, 1390 Hwy 88, Minden, NV 89423.
Keeping The Shelter Going
Running a ferret shelter brings a lot of expenses, and Soule uses several creative ways to raising money. One of the biggest is the ferret frolic event she holds every September.
"Last year’s was the best turnout that I have ever had,” Soule said. "Probably over 60 people and lots of fuzzies attended. We have several raffles, silent auction, live auction, bake sale, hamburger/hot dog lunches, items for sale, games for the ferrets and people, and the rent a ferret.”
In addition, she sells merchandise, including the Ferrets with Soul(e) Rescue/Shelter calendar, T-shirts, mugs, key chains, etc. She also has a full line of ferret cards available on eBay. Anyone who wants to purchase the cards, can contact Soule at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ferrets with Soul(e) shelter uses donated funds for its veterinarian, food and supplies. It welcomes gift certificates and volunteers. The shelter doesn’t have its own website, but it can be found on Petfinder. You can type in Ferrets with Soul(e) and find their info. They are also listed on Support Our Shelters.
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Troy Lynn Eckart is the founder of Ferret Family Services, a domestic ferret information, education and welfare public service organization in Kansas.