Recently our shelter has come across a situation that I am sure
many shelters and rescues have. I would like to get some feed
back from SHELTERS and RESCUES on this.
What I like to call FAD seems to happen when we get a single or couple of ferrets in that have been for the better term ABANDONED by once loving and caring Ferret Parents who for some reason feel that the pet they could not live without, are now dropping off to a shelter. In a very blunt and probably cold hearted term, these once caring and loving Ferret Parents feel that doing this is for the best of their pet. While I do agree in theory, what I am finding is these once caring and loving individuals are abandoning an animal that has grown to love and relish the companionship of these once loving and caring people.
So what is wrong here? Well, let's put ourselves in the situation of these intelligent creatures. They are now in a strange environment, with someone they do not recognize as that person who once came home everyday, played with them, fed them, gave them treats, and provided a safe and secure home. Now, they don't know what to do. Even with these creatures intelligence level, comes also let's say, paranoia, fear, and depression.
As our scientists, psychological researchers, and doctors are discovering in us humans, Depression can cause all kinds of problems, to include death. Now who is to say that these creatures do not experience depression too? And what better way to bring it on than ABANDONING them. Yes, a shelter or rescue is a better choice than placing an ad in the local paper. That is like playing Russian Roulette, you never know what chamber is going to be waiting for you when that person comes to purchase your once loved ones.
Yes, I am sure by me writing this on the FML, I will return tomorrow to find a dozen or more individuals who will claim to me that they would rather die than give up their ferrets. Please save your fingers and time, you don't have to prove a thing to me. I am not that cute fuzzy creature you call Rascal, Bandit, Trouble, or Fuzzy. I was not purchased from a pet store, breeder, or other Ferret producing industry.
prove it to your pet. Then go out and prove it to your pet
again, because when you allow a friend, relative, or even a
stranger in a pet store to purchase one of these very
complicated critters, and you know deep in your heart that this
person will eventually grow tired of, have to get rid of, or is
not the type of person who should have one. You know you have
to step up and say something. It could be something as simple
as, "did you know these animals catch all kinds of cancers"
(maybe a little white lie never hurt) "and their medical bills
go into the hundreds of dollars." If it's enough to change that
persons mind and scare them away from a ferret and maybe get a
chia pet. Then you have done a good thing.|
Why do I care about this? Because I have seen to many ferrets abandoned recently into our shelter that have obviously come from a once caring home, but now find itself out of that home. The Ferret refuses to eat anything, it lays in its hammock all day, when released to play, it just goes into a corner and goes back to sleep. Within a couple of days, we have to force feed it and then its off to the vet. We have been able to save some ferrets who have done this, but we have lost too many to let this go by.
The moral to this story, I hope, is obvious. As I tell everyone who has attended the Ferret Class I give,
Do you see a Ferret sharing that with you?
What about 10 years?"
If you are a shelter/rescue and you have seen this behavior
before and have some sort of solution, please share it with me.
FAD is just that, and it is something I would love to eliminate
and the only way is getting Ferrets into the hands of people
who are looking for lifelong companions, not a fad.
a message from me...kat
This is a special and personal subject to me. I have personally seen a ferret grieve himself to death. It is a painfully helpless feeling. I did everything I knew to do and took any advice I could get. In the end, it did no good. It broke my heart. And another ferret I got from someone that didn't want him any more has gone from a healthy ferret to one plagued by one thing or another. Luckily he is alive and seems to be doing okay right now, till the next bout of Proliferative Bowel Disease, which is caused by stress, at least it was in Pye.
What i want from making this page is to help. To make people T-H-I-N-K !!! It is unreal to expect you to KNOW where you will be in 5 years, 7 years, 10 years. But you would know if you were going off to college, going into the Military, going into a profession where you will have to travel alot.
These little creatures bond TOTALLY with their person. It is very traumatic for them to be given up. I know there are many instances when that IS the only option, but this page is to make you think. Maybe there IS a way for you to keep that little furry loved one and still give him the care he deserves.
Maybe someone could help you find that way.
Or maybe you need to wait to get your ferret till you are settled.
These are just suggestions. I am not telling you how to run your life. I am not saying you have to do this...or can't do that...I am just asking you to consider the ferrets future, too.
Date: Fri, 2 Jun 2000
From: MARY sirk6@EMAIL.MSN.COM
I replied directly to Rick, but I feel that the people here [on the FML] are missing the issue completely. When Rick states that he doesn't care about the reason for surrender he means that it is not the issue at hand. I, too, have gone through what Rick is going through, and it is very disheartening.
Some ferts bond very closely with their owners and they do not understand why they are in a strange place. They only know that they are afraid and alone. All the love you can give them goes for naught. It is very sad to fight tooth and nail to save a ferret only to have it die in your arms.
I feel that Rick is angry and saddened by the loss of these little guys. He is venting. He asked Shelters and Rescues to respond because he was looking for help to try and stop the losing of ferts that came into his care. Since it is "spring cleaning" time we are feeling the crunch. With so many coming in it is even harder to give the one on one care they need. A ferret may be fine for a week, possibly two, and then start showing the signs of stress. Everything Rick said is true. We had one get out to play and go and sleep in the litter box instead.
Depression-oh yes-big time.
Did we save Him--sadly, no.
Do we care why you are surrendering? NO!!! That is not the issue. It does not matter. What does matter is the life of the ferret. Will the ferret survive being dumped. Some come through with flying colors----others don't.
It was never my intention to run a ferret shelter. I had plenty of other things to do with my time, money and life. But when a vet, pet store, neighbor or other person calls you about a ferret that is no longer wanted, what are you to do? The decision was not made by us, it was made by a Higher Power. If He did not have it in his scheme of things we would not have been called. When I was young (a long time ago) I wanted to be a social worker. Growing up poor and no grants available at the time I could not afford the college. I am now doing my own social work with the animals. I would not go back in time and say no to this calling.
Hang in there Rick.
Date: Sun, 4 Jun 2000 08:08:07 -0400
From: MARY sirk6@EMAIL.MSN.COM
Subject: Caring and Knowing
I am afraid that some people may have misunderstood my post. I did not say that I did not have the need to KNOW about the why of surrendering, I stated that I did not CARE. Two completely different issues.
First and foremost-I always ask the reason for surrender. Why? Because if there is a solution to the problem maybe we can fix it together and the critter has the chance to stay in the home. This has happened on several occasions. There are many misconceptions about ferret care out there and educating the ferret owner may help.
Secondly- I did say that I did not care. I am not your mother, sister or other family member that is going to be overjoyed that you are pregnant. There are several ways to work around a pregnancy. People have survived years with pets and babies. When there is a will, there is a way. (Health issues aside).
That dream apartment that you have always wanted. Gee, I guess at the time you wanted that small fuzzy creature in the pet store just as bad? Now, he/she is just another part of your life holding you back from keeping up with the Joneses.
The ferrets are keeping you from traveling. You heard they only live for 5-6 years and they aren't dead!!!!! Pity, you should have done more homework.
The ferret is sick and I don't have the money to pay for the medical care. If you have been a regular client of a vet, who has seen your fuzzies and knows you, then I would think that a payment plan could be set up. Unless, of course, you don't care enough for the welfare of the creature you chose to spend the rest of their life with.
I am tired of taking care of it!!! It bites!! It smells! I guess if you didn't clean my pan, wash my bedding or feed me, I would smell, bite and not be a true companion to you either.
In the years of rescuing, I have been told that I am callous. I did not start out that way. People, uncaring people, have made me that way. Do I care? NO!!!!! Am I rude to the people that surrender? NO! I bite my tongue and get as much info from them as I possibly can so that I can take proper care of the little one after the people have left to go on with their "carefree" lives. Stories and reasons become the same old blah-blah-blah when you start taking in 15 or more critters a month, over 100 a year.
The cause is surrender. Mr. Killian called it what I refer to it as: Shelter Shock Syndrome. The only "cure" for this malady is TLC. And, as I stated, it is not 100% effective.
I sincerely hope that this has cleared up a few issues...
Date: Mon, 5 Jun 2000
From: Juliana Quadrozzi -
FERRET BUSINESS OF GA
Subject: FAD, Young people & ferrets,
With the territory
As a rescuer I can understand the deep-seeded frustration
associated with convenience surrenders in the recent FAD
discussions. I have to deal with it, work to remedy the
situation when I can, & accept that most of the time there is
no solution because their beloved pets have become an unwanted
inconvenience. I do my best to give people the benefit of the
doubt because I believe there are legitimate reasons for having
to give up a dear pet - financial, medical, & unfortunate
changes in ones situation that are beyond their control. You
have to admit though, that inconvenience is hardly acceptable.
For the young people who feel they've had to defend themselves,
I commend you. You're obviously responsible. Understand that
the comments aren't directed at responsible young adults, but
the great number of our surrenders that come from kids who have
lost interest in their pets.
Xxxxx, after following the FAD discussion, I had to fulfill my
heart's overwhelming passion & respond to your misguided belief
that 'a rescuer has an unfulfilled need gratify'. The point of
your post [in the FML] was ludicrous.
Our tiresome, endless drivel is an attempt to enlighten the public that problems can be worked through, that pets, especially ferrets, do suffer when abandoned, & that pets are a responsibility that should not be considered so casually disposable. Abandoned, by the way, is an excellent description since most surrendering owners say "I have to get rid of my ferret(s)" & could just short of care less what happened to it, as long as they don't have to deal with it anymore.
Personally, I do rescue to help prevent unnecessary death & suffering.
Ferret Business takes in ferrets that need a place to go until they can be placed in loving, permanent homes. I would love nothing more than if there were no fosters & I could come home & devote my time & energy to my own pets.
I could do without...
But, according to your post, if all the rescues closed their
doors today, all the homeless animals would go away.
It's become acceptable in our society that nothing is ever anyone's personal responsibility. While I do accept the excuses, I don't have to like it.
My heartfelt sympathies for those who have known the agony of
loss & the little ones who are no longer with us. And a special
acknowledgement for the rescuers & their fosters. Only the
little ones with no voices, who die because they're too
inconvenient for the owners who claim to care, know their tears.