Thank you for your concern regarding the Kijji ad selling “defect” baby ferrets. I monitor the ferrets for sale on Kijji daily. I will tell you up front that my late husband and I met and became casual friends of her grandfather and grandmother. They started and owned this small family run breeding facility. It was not a large operation on the scale of say Marshall Farms.
I know this family and know that they want the best for their ferrets and take pride in having healthy baby ferrets for sale. They were/ are small private breeder of hamsters, guinea pigs and ferrets. Mr. Dave took great pride in having plump, healthy babies. He persevered through many set backs. Sadly since my husband passed away, I have not been able to visit them but I highly doubt that the standards of care have changed in the last 7 years. Mr. Dave would have instilled this in whomever is now looking after the family business.
When the Manitoba Ferret Association and No Kill Shelter was born in 1997, we had the rare privilege of touring the facilities several times and over tea learnt about the hardships of breeding ferrets. We learnt that not all female ferrets make good moms. Some mom will refuse the nurse their babies, abandoning them each time. Also, some First time ferret moms in their inexperience will “clean” the babies too vigorously resulting in the end of the tail being nipped off or the tip of a toe or even part of an ear. By the second litter they have it figured out. It goes without saying that if the ferret mom keeps doing this to every litter then she needs to be retired from breeding.
I have a personal ferret adopted from a university that eat her first litter. She cleaned them but didn’t know when to stop, it wasn’t intentional cannibalism. She got it right the second time around. She was spayed and I was able to adopt her shortly after. She came with her sister. Her sister was a perfect mom the very first time, cleaned them up properly and nursed them into plump healthy babies. So, 2 sisters from an original litter, both bred at the same time – one a good mom right off the bat, the other needing to take a second run at it.
Something else too, when you get a large litter of say 8 babies, sometimes the babies in an attempt to nurse will mistake a sibling’s ear for the teat and suckle hard resulting in a deformity. The baby ferret with the suckled ear, is still a healthy baby with a slight deformity.
Pet stores; based on “consumer” demands will only accept “perfect” baby ferrets. A ferret born missing a toe is rejected and yet it is still a healthy baby ferret. I ferret with a damaged ear or a shortened tail are also considered rejects. Some pet stores will even refuse any Albino baby ferrets because the consumer considers them blood thirsty. HOGWASH!
If they could not find a pet store willing to take them (some do see a bob tailed ferret as a specialty ferret) or if they could not find a home within their extended family ties; – they found themselves between a rock and a hard place. If they sold them directly to the public, some pet stores could scream conflict and threaten to cancel all future purchases.
Now, their granddaughter has found a way to save them. Being ferret breeder does not mean you understand the passion and devotion us ferret owners have for their furries. These are our furry children and no one wants to hear defective. She has a good heart, she was honest about the babies, but used poor choice of words in these ads. The word ‘DEFECT” is repulsive no matter what you are selling. I evokes negative imagery.
The ad should read something like this: Special needs baby ferrets looking for a second chance at a forever home. First time mom overzealous in cleaning her new babies. These healthy babies have some imperfections such as a short tail, missing toe or slightly deformed ear. Serious inquiries only ……………….
Notice how your reaction is totally different!
I have run the no kill ferret shelter for 18 years, Needless to say I love ferrets and am passionate about educating people BEFORE they take home that baby ferret.
Before Kijji, we would get the young ferrets for re-homing. Now, it is mostly the older (insert un-adoptable), sick, mishandled ferrets that seek refuge. They live out their lives being loved and cared for in our home shelters or in Foster Care. No ferret is turned away even as we struggle to raise enough money for food, litter and medical care. A membership (you don’t have to participate in any events) helps to fund these costs. Yet so many ferret owners do not realize how much we need their support and do not sign up for that membership.
The cost of that phone line that you used when you had a ferret emergency is paid with from those funds. We were there for you and your ferret. Please, find it in your heart to be there for us.