Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Giving Thanks

Cookie, a resident of the Inn, participates in this year's Giving Tree. (Click here to sponsor Cookie)

Dear Friends and Family of The Ferret Inn,
As we approach this holiday season, I want to personally give thanks to all the beautiful fuzzy creatures who have come and gone from our lives this year, as well as to all the wonderful human lives whose paths have crossed with my own as volunteers or friends of The Ferret Inn.
This year has brought two special losses for me. First Sam, and then Blackie. Many of you were familiar with Blackie and Sam, and helped care for them while they spent days and nights at The Inn. I want to thank each of you, for caring for my kids as if they were your own, as you tended to their meds, and gruel, and gave them kisses and hugs.
Many of you have suffered similar losses, including long term residents of The Inn such as our precious Mary, and Hunny.

What would life be for any of us without our precious furkids?

This year has seen great economic challenges for all shelters and rescues. Each one of my now 7 (previously 9 ) furkids were once residents of The Ferret Inn. I am deeply grateful that they were delivered to The Inn, were they could be properly cared for, vetted, vaccinated, and nursed back to health, both physically and emotionally, and finally prepared for their forever home: MY HOME!. How lucky I am to receive such joy.

What would life be with no shelter?

Please remember, in this season of giving thanks, who cared for our furkids, and who was there to receive them when they were discarded by their previous owners, often malnutritioned, dehydrated, injured or neglected. The Ferret Inn has spent well over 12 thousand dollars in veterinary care alone this year, much less the cost of daily care...bedding, food, cleaning supplies, utility bills, transportation, etc.

I am asking each of you, whose lives have been touched by The Ferret Inn, to consider picking a ferret to sponsor from the annual Ferret Giving Tree 2009, and to donate food, or to vet bills, or to volunteer a few more hours as a sign of hope that The Ferret Inn can continue to thrive with all of your generosity and help for yet another year, to offer a special respite to tired, weak, old or sick ferrets until they find their forever home. Click on this link to The Giving Tree and choose tree 26 where 10 of our precious ferret residents can be sponsored, beginning with Violet and ending with Blaze.

Bonnie Russell
Secretary, The Ferret Inn

Slinky also joins the tree (click here to sponsor Slinky)

Friday, October 2, 2009

Boarding at The Ferret Inn

The Ferret Inn provides 24 hour fully supervised boarding in an ADV negative
home setting.
It is our mission to provide a caring, safe, and enriching experience for
your ferret. You can be confident that while you are away, your pet will
receive the highest quality of care, by very knowledgeable caregivers.

We encourage you to visit before boarding your ferret so that we may answer
all your questions.

Boarding fees range from $9.00 per night to $18.00, per single ferret, and
whether or not you have previously adopted from The Ferret Inn. There is an
additional charge for critical care. Prices vary for more than one ferret
per night.
Call Nancy at #410-531-4936 for more details. All boarders will be required to sign a
boarding contract at the time of boarding. ADV testing for your ferret is
offered at least one week prior to boarding at a cost of $25.00.

References available.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Ferret Inn at the Fandango

The Ferret Inn had a successful showing at the semi-annual Ferret Fandango, an AFA sponsored show hosted by The Pennsylvania Ferret Club.

Our little shelter girl, "Mandy" won the prestigious title of "Senorita of the Fandango" and is the proud winner of the coveted Sombrero! She also pulled off a second in the Mutt class and was on her best behavior throughout the show.

The beautiful "Love a Weasel" bedding set raffle drawing was held at 4:00 PM at the show. Lindsay Forgette, an attendee of the Fandango, was the proud winner!

Between Lisa O's popular bedding sets and Pam Z's baked gourmet goodies sales, we have replenished our funds. 100% of the proceeds of the sales go towards the care of the ferrets.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Annual Volunteer Appreciation

Volunteers and Supporters attended The Ferret Inn's Annual Volunteer Appreciation Pool Party and Memorial Service held in Burtonsville, MD this past Saturday, August 15th. Tom Wilson served up some wonderful rotisserie roast beef along with his specialty drink, homemade Mojitos! Plenty of delicious vegetarian dishes were also served for our non-carnivorous brethren. A very touching and private ceremony was held during the event so that this past year's losses could be remembered.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


A resident of nearby apartments, Tamar Meadow, located in Columbia MD 21045, contacted us to say her ferret escaped from her apartment on August 8th.
We have sent her suggestions on locating her missing ferret.
If you find a ferret in Columbia, MD, please contact us and we can put you in touch with the owner. See pictures. We do not yet know the ferret's name but according to the owner, he is very friendly.
Thank you!

FOLLOW-UP Monday, August 17th. As commented in this article, the ferret has not yet been found. His owner is offering a $100.00 reward for his safe return. His name is Pole Cat

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

In Loving Memory

There is Something about Mary....

Long term resident of The Ferret Inn, our beautiful Mary has passed after a long struggle with Lymphoma. Mary came to us in February of 2008 from a wildlife sanctuary where she appeared to be about five.
Ever since her arrival at "The Inn", we knew there was something special about our Mary.
With a sparse, coarse coat and an earthy smell we attempted an adrenal surgery. Early into surgery it was apparent that adrenal disease was the least of her worries and a histology was done. Sadly the diagnosis was Lymphoma, Mary began chemo shortly thereafter.

Over her year and a half with us, she underwent many different chemo treatments and had thrived despite her bouts of various infections as a side effect of the chemo. Throughout these many treatments (including acupuncture), Mary always kept her high-spirited personality and nurturing ways. She had the most wonderful gift of "cleaning up" anyone in her presence...from ear, to chin, to eyes, to nose..Mary would gently lick all the dirt away from human and animal.

Mary also held a special spot for other sick or elderly ferrets and soon became the resident nurse. She would lie down beside other ferrets and gently clean them and nurture them while they were ill. She even seemed to take special attention to ferrets who suffered from lymphoma like herself. Everyone who visited The Inn would immediately take to little Mary, as she always permitted being hugged and doted over by strangers, family and friends.

In the photo above, Mary cuddles with Blackie, another close ferret friend with lymphoma. In the photo below, Mary gives gentle re-assurance to a dying ferret endearingly known as "1722" , one of our little research gals who also had cancer.

Mary will be sorely missed by many but no one held her closer to his heart than did her sponsor of many months, her" Papa Scott". Not only did he help finance Mary' many months of medical care, but spent many hours visiting with Mary and her friends. Scott visited Mary and her friends at The Inn frequently and would sit and rock Mary to sleep.

He is shown below cradling Mary at our vet's office

Mary was a heroine among ferrets and will be missed by all.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Preventing Fleas and Ear Mites

Ferrets are susceptible to both fleas and ear mites, especially during the increasingly warm summer months.
Let's cover nasty fleas first!.
At The Ferret Inn, we have rescued ferrets infested with fleas who were extremely anemic and needed blood transfusions to save their life. Fleas literally feed off of an animals blood and flesh, leaving a two pound animal defenseless. Fleas can also carry tapeworms to your ferrets.
At The Ferret Inn, we use a flea preventative once a month called FrontLine spray. Our vet also recommends using a product called Revolution. Both of these products can be properly dosed and obtained from your ferret knowledgeable veterinarian.
Revolution can also prevent heartworms (yes, ferrets can also get heartworms from mosquitoes), and ear mites.
Ear Mites are a common pest with ferrets and can lead to ear problems if left untreated. Your ferret does not have to go outside to come in contact with either ear mites! They can live in ferret bedding, carpeting, furniture, etc. The best thing is to use a monthly preventative. We use a product called Ivermectin, which can be obtained and properly dosed be your ferret knowledgeable vet.
How can you tell if your ferret has fleas, tapeworms, or ear mites? Fleas can result in an extra itchy ferret and you should regularly use a flea comb to comb through your ferrets hair if you suspect fleas. Fleas also leave behind 'flea dirt" which looks like little tiny speckles of black in the ferrets hair close to the skin. As for ear mites, the ear wax of a ferret tends to become very dark ,almost blackish. Ear mites can be detected by a qualified vet who will do a swab sample and run it under a microscope. The presence of tapeworms, and other GI parasites can only be confirmed through a fecal sample at your vets office. Even so, it can take multiple samples for proper detection.
NEVER assume that a common dog or cat flea product can be used on a ferret. Some can be highly toxic or fatal.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Adoption updates

Congratulations for the following ferrets who were adopted in the last few days:

Marley and Peebles

Clyde and Isis

Jackie O

Flea and Punkin Pie

Dookers, Hank, Butterball, Solomon

Saturday, June 6, 2009

5 things every ferret owner should know

  1. Health issues. Ferrets make great pets. Unfortunately, they are prone to many potentially deadly health issues. About 80% of all ferrets will develop adrenal disease or insulinoma. Since ferrets who are over three-years-old are considered geriatric, owners should expect to have at least one surgery during that ferret's lifetime. Read more about these two illnesses (and others) on miamiferret.org.
  2. Play time. People often associate ferrets with rabbits, guinea pigs, and mice because of their small stature and furry bodies. That's about the only things ferrets have in common with these other animals. Ferrets are not cage animals. They need to play around the house as a cat or dog would. They need constant stimulation, enrichment and interaction. Ferret owners should have large cages for their ferrets as a safety, since ferrets cannot be supervised around the clock. Read more about what games ferrets like to play.
  3. Blockages and hairball prevention. Laxatives made for ferrets should be given about twice a week. Ferrets need lax to help prevent hairballs. Unlike cats, ferrets cannot throw up a hairball. Some ferrets are very fond of eating things they shouldn't eat, such as rubber, cotton, cloth, etc. All of those things can cause a potentially deadly blockage. Lax cannot remove all blockages; sometimes surgery is the best solution. Read more blockages here and here.
  4. Carnivores. Ferrets are obligate carnivores, which means they are strict meat-eaters. Anything with fruits, vegetables, or sugar should never be fed to ferrets. A diet free of sugars and low in carbohydrates may help prevent insulinoma. If you are unsure what to feed your ferret, check out this handy food chart.
  5. Ferret-knowledgeable vets. One of the most important things you can do to your ferret is finding a ferret-knowledgeable vet. Please note that just because a vet says s/he treats ferrets, it does not mean that the vet is qualified. Make sure to ask a potential ferret vet these important questions. To find a ferret vet close to you, click here.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

LOST FERRET - "TWIX" Needs your help

(Update on Search for Twix: On Wednesday eve, a group of us canvassed a very overwhelming neighborhood, with literally thousands of wonderful places for ferrets to hide and nest. We walked in the woods,which were very dense, talked to anyone we saw on the streets, and a group of kids, and stuck fliers in every single mailbox in surrounding neighborhoods. No sign of Twix yet but we haven't given up hope. I will give another update in a week's time, even if nothing new is known)

A ferret friend of The Ferret Inn named "Twix" has been reported lost from his home in Davidsonville, MD. He got out sometime Sunday night (May 31st) or Monday morning and the family is devastated. They live in a residential development but back up to some extensive wooded areas.
The family has searched the surrounding areas and has made many efforts to find poor Twix.
So far we have done the following
Anne Arundel Animal Control
Anne Arundel SPCA
Petfinder Lost and Found
Posted on ferretvillage.org
Handed out fliers to neighbors mailboxes.
Visited some neighbors

We have also recommended that the family contact and post at all local pet stores and vets.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Spotlight on volunteer: Crystal

Crystal Hughes is Officer of Public Outreach. She organizes adoptions day, which helps ferrets find homes with responsible owners. She's been with the Inn for three years and has recently adopted a ferret, Nina.

You organize events, such as adoption days. What does a regular adoption day consist of? Ferrets are still pretty uncommon to a lot of people. We get a lot of questions like "How long does a ferret live? What do they eat? Are they litter box trained? Don't they bite?" Kids love to hold the ferrets and watch them run through the tubes. We usually have a crowd at adoption events!

Why did you decide to volunteer at a ferret shelter? I've always loved ferrets and wanted to help educate the public about them and find forever homes for them.

What's the most satisfying aspect of volunteering? Knowing that I'm helping to give a ferret a chance at a happy life.

What is it about ferrets that you love? They're silly and playful and mischievous. How can you not crack up when a ferret does the weasel war dance? Or steals objects five times their size? Each ferret has their own personality and "quirks". Ferrets really know how to make the most of life.

How did you get into owning ferrets in the first place? An old friend of mine adopted a couple of ferrets from a shelter. They were so much fun that I decided to adopt two myself. That quickly went from two ferrets to six ferrets!

You recently adopted Nina from the shelter. How did you come to adopt her? Nina came from a pretty bad situation. She was living on a diet of bologna, Cheerios, and dried banana crisps -- that is, when the owner remembered to feed her. Her water bottle was empty and her litter box was overflowing. When Nancy got her, she was dehydrated and wouldn't eat gruel or kibble on her own. I agreed to foster her to make sure she was eating enough and so that she wouldn't have to deal with the stress of the shelter. It wasn't long before I fell in love and adopted her.

What is the most important thing that people who want to adopt should know about ferrets? Ferrets aren't cage animals like gerbils and hamsters. They need mental stimulation and interaction with their humans on a daily basis.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Spotlight on a Special Volunteer

I submitted this essay to the American Humane Association in hopes of awarding a $1000.00 prize to Melissa, for all the wonderful work she has done for ferrets over the years. She will always be a winner in my book. Please read on...

Melissa poses with two ferrets "Mothership" and "Lula"

Melissa Williams is like no other young woman I know and probably not like anyone you are likely to meet. To name a single selfless act or event for the benefit or welfare of animals would not begin to describe the contributions that Melissa has made, nor would it demonstrate the kind of devotion, dedication, and perseverance that defines what a remarkable individual she is. At 14 years of age Melissa adopted her first ferret from The Ferret Inn and began volunteering. Most impressive was the determination she showed as she struggled to make arrangements to secure transportation to and from the shelter every Saturday – a round trip of more than 60 miles! She has adopted nine more ferrets, fostered an additional five ferrets, and comforted a few as they have “crossed over the Bridge”.

She has accompanied and assisted me in dozens of vet appointments. Her mature and inquisitive presence made it easy for the vet to allow her to observe a variety of surgical procedures performed on own her pet ferrets as well as on those that she has rescued and cared for. Melissa quickly became familiar with the procedures and protocols in the shelter and every name and case history of more than forty resident ferrets. She learned to perform triage on incoming animals and to provide a range of critical care tasks from syringe feeding to administering medications including sub-cutaneous fluids with confidence, accuracy, and absolute reliability.

Melissa was my first choice to be in charge for a week while I attended a seminar in Canada. Although only fifteen years old at the time she stayed at the shelter and performed the duties of shelter director, was directly responsible for all the shelter operations, and oversaw a crew of 4 to 6 others including adults. Her performance far exceeded anyone’s expectations but was par for the course for Melissa.

At seventeen Melissa trains new volunteers, attends ferret education seminars and adoptions days, helps in screening applicants for adoption, and performs pre-adoption home visits. Through education she helps to ensure that ferrets adopted from The Ferret Inn have the best chance of a successful match with loving and responsible owners. In addition to everything she does at the shelter she is an honor student, a softball coach, and a text message away when my memory fails me. She is a mentor, a role model, an example, a leader, and a friend. She is at the very least a unique and very special young woman.
Nancy Wilson, Director

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Before and after: Tim Tooten and Tom Tasselmyer

Tim Tooten and Tom Tasselmyer are a bonded pair who were surrendered to a local shelter. We fell in love with them and named them after WBAL's news reporters. Poor Tom was severly underweight when he arrived: 1 pound 8 ounces. Since then, he's managed to gain a whole pound.

Both ferrets make great companions. Tom is the more cuddly one while Tim is more energetic. Both are doing well at The Inn but would love to find a forever home.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Volunteers at The Ferret Inn

Volunteers hold some precious cargo, after a hard days cleaning of the shelter. There are many volunteer opportunities at The Ferret Inn. For more information, please click here.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

February update


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Sad Tidings.... Diesel

Diesel, the elder and mascot at the Ferret Inn, has crossed over the bridge. He came to us in Jan 2006 at 6 years old, sick and with only a few sprouts of white hair and that distinctive black nose. Diesel had two adrenal/insulinoma surgeries while here at the Inn, which left him with a stunning white coat and a new lease on life. In his younger days, he was our ambassador and would frequent outings and ferret education days with us. He had since retired and had found our carpeted bed room to be most comfortable, at which he had time and time again left his mark on as most seniors do.
Up till his passing he received regular acupuncture treatments to keep him comfortable and well balanced.
Diesel was a favorite with all who treated him, the visitors and the volunteers. Until we meet again my Diese…

Click here to see more pictures of Diesel.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

New arrival: more Black Jacks!

Five new fitches were delivered today from the same research facility that brought us the 21 Black Jacks! When it come to good fortune, The Ferret Inn has been privileged to receive these newcomers.

Twelve Black Jacks remain from the original group of 21. The 5 newcomers have already taken a liking to their friends with very familiar faces. And even though they have been provided with some enrichment, they have had limited human interaction. So we are always amazed at what wonderful companions these girls make.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

January update

  • Tico was adopted by two new ferret owners. We thought Tico's disposition would be great for first-time owners.
  • Three Black Jacks were adopted. The first two were adopted by first-time owners. The other one was the last boy; he joins Auggy, who was adopted last month.
  • Aries and Socrates join a group of ferrets. This pair made a wonderful addition to the pack of ferrets.
  • Smokey and Ashley were adopted after spending a few months at the shelter. They are very sweet and we're happy they found a home.
  • Rob Roblin goes to a home joining the owners' single ferret.

  • Lyla, one of the Black Jacks, had to be put to sleep because of her lymphoma and enlarged spleen. She will be missed by her life-long cagemates.
  • Herb also had to be put to sleep. He had a history of liver problems and insulinoma. He leaves his cagemate Peaches.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Be A Sponsor!

The littlest girl at The Inn!Luna is a delightful 7 year old ferret from Holland! She weighs in slightly under a pound and is in perfect health! Despite her age, she has never required meds or had a surgery. Although Luna is a permanent member at The Inn, you can help us by sponsoring this precious little girl....

There are many medically fragile and senior ferrets who are permanent residents at The Ferret Inn. The little fuzzies require constant vigilance, and fast action on behalf of our Director, Nancy Wilson. Many have chronic insulinoma and adrenal problems even after several surgeries. Consider making a monthly donation of only $5.00 to The Inn. Help pay for food, litter, and annual veterinary costs and you will be a sponsor to Luna or any other needy kids at The Inn! To donate, click on the button below: