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Saving Ferret Lives

Two pet ferrets led the way to a family’s 10-year passion for saving ferret lives.

By Becky Moffitt
Posted: August 2, 2009, 5:15 p.m. EDT

ferret
Courtesy of Becky Moffitt
Ferrets give so much love that Becky Moffitt can't imagine life without them.

Back in November 1999 and October 2000, we bought our first pet store ferrets. Then in March 2003, my daughter called saying that someone was giving away a ferret they didn't want. I tried to put her off, because we already had two ferrets and we lived in a trailer. She called again and said to come look at him. I knew I was had. Needless to say, ferret No. 3 joined the family.

In June we were moving to a house and went to look for items for it. We stopped at a pet shop to look, and it was an awful place. Among other things, they had five ferrets crammed into a little cage. The store was moving locations, and we were told that if someone didn't buy the ferrets, they would be euthanized. We were the someones. (Fortunately, that store shut down permanently.)

We moved at the end of June with eight ferrets. In September, our old neighbors asked if we wanted their ferret. They didn't want him anymore. Yep, he became No. 9.

All was quiet until February 2004 when my brother-in-law called. His friend had two ferrets and didn't want them. The friend had tried to get the dog pound to put them to sleep, but they wouldn't. He said if no one took them he would let them loose outside. And so No. 10 and No. 11 arrived. Enough? Apparently not.

With March and April of 2005, two more ferrets arrived. Then tragedy struck. Two of our rescues died within two weeks and a day from each other, one from cancer and the second from a kidney stone. We were devastated. We decided no more. The grief was too much. That lasted until May.

Between May and December we rescued eight more ferrets, the last one from a pet shop that called us that they had a sick ferret. She had been sick longer than we were told. They said if we wanted her we could have her. They weren't going to put any money in her. We called our veterinarian from there, but before our veterinarian could call back, that poor baby died in my arms. I wish I could say that shop was closed down, but it's not. We tried.

In May 2006, we rescued a little adrenal ferret that was almost completely bald. May and December 2007 added two more ferrets to our group. The ferret in December was found on the side of the road. She was taken to the dog pound. My daughter adopted her for us for Christmas.

We will probably never stop rescuing ferrets. We would take in a ferret even if it only had a week to live. That would give the ferret a week of love and care that it has lacked. We have experienced diseases and illnesses with ferrets but can't imagine not having even one of our precious babies. Rescuing ferrets is very rewarding. The love ferrets give you cannot be measured. We have had a total of 26 ferrets and presently have 10.

It used to be if we get another ferret, now it’s when.

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Reader Comments
I know how she feels.We found 2 in the woods where we take our dogs to run.Our one dog who has a big hunting instinct got to one before we could and killed it.The other one "Luna" was a hairless white ferret who I fell in love with Until she died in my arms Halloween night this past year.Shame on the person who dumped them because they were sick,I am definitely getting more when my older cats are gone.I can't believe how hard I took Luna's death after 7 great months with her.There are no shortage of people giving away ferrets unfortunately.
Beth, Wawarsing, NY
Posted: 3/10/2011 3:57:45 PM
I'm glad that I'm not the only one that's a sap/sucker for these sweet, cute, and furry little faces. Thank God for people such as ourselves and anyone else that's willing to step up to save these innocent babies. I've been doing the same thing since 1992. I can't imagine my life without them. I was a divorced single parent, and on a very tight budget, but I'd always pray for God to pave the way...and God always took care of my children, the furries, and me.
Shirley, N. Charleston, SC
Posted: 8/25/2009 8:40:49 AM
Wow.Its so great what you do! Where I live no one has ferrets and everyone thinks Im weird for having them. They call me the ferret lady at work. I cant imagine all the sadness and loss that you go through when they pass on. It must be so difficult. You are a hero!
Beth, Columbia, NH
Posted: 8/18/2009 8:19:06 AM
You are one of the truly special ferret owners. I enjoyed reading your article about rescuing ferrets. I love ferrets and it makes me so sad to read stories about abused ferrets. Pet stores truly need to educate potential owners before the purchase of a ferret, but it seem that motivation for a profit is all they care about.
Susie, Fort Worth, TX
Posted: 8/7/2009 6:44:12 PM
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