Unable to care for six polecat ferrets, family donates them to shelter

An Ardennes family overwhelmed by all the attention demanded by their six polecat ferrets had to part with all of the siblings. It is the Lisa association of Charleville-Mézières (Ardennes), a league in the interest of society and animals, which is now in charge of finding enthusiasts for these very special animals.

There is a certain agitation within the LISA, this thirty-year-old association well known to the Ardennes for the defense of the animal cause. At the beginning of July, the stars of the day are the three little female ferrets who recently arrived at the shelter.

The feat of the morning is, first of all, to catch them and put them all together in the photo. Laurence, the head of the dog sector for 6 years, is not really used to this kind of tenants. We will have to ask for reinforcements to grab the elusive ones and have at least three faces in the same direction, from the front.

Manon and Marc-Antoine, the association’s assistants, reassure these little balls of fur, constantly on the move and curious about everything. The three males, including an all-white albino, are staying with another volunteer nearby.

The Charleville-Mézières Charleville-Mézières Charleville-Mézières Carolomacerian association is not used to collecting six ferrets at once. Here is a very singular animal with beautiful qualities, the third most common pet behind the dog and the cat. But it also has some small drawbacks to take into account, as Laurence reminds us with his protege swaddled in a soft fabric:

They are domestic ferrets, they are called polecats because the color is reminiscent of the polecat, and the smell too, it must be said. It’s part of the inconvenience, which is why you have to think carefully before taking a ferret. If the males are not neutered, the smell is strong, it is a distant cousin of the skunk. It is the anal sacs or anal glands which secrete a very odorous liquid”. Lawrence continues: “The ferret needs a lot of space and requires a lot of attention. We got these three males and these three females from a family that was starting to have too many animals. They had in addition to these six ferrets: a dog and four turtles”.

The ferret must be able to get out of its cage, it must run, it needs to play. Ferrets are often seen playing with dogs or cats in a dedicated room.

Laurence, animal manager, Lisa association

In this YouTube video, a cat struggles to rest with its rambunctious roommate:

This lively animal of the mustelid family, very sociable, does not seem to suffer from boredom. Yet he cannot stand alone. He needs interaction with his loved ones and does not like being locked up in his cage for long. This small carnivore feeds on kibble for sterilized cats or pâté for animals. He also likes chicken breast.

Laurence, the site manager, adds some valuable advice for future ferret owners: “He bites a little at first (his jaw has 36 teeth), but if he is used to being handled, there are no more problems. You should know that it lives for five to ten years all the same.

We can provide him with a cat tree, tunnels, platforms, hammocks, stuffed animals. The cage must be large enough and he needs a room for him with a litter box. There is more exchange than with a rabbit for example. The ferret will come towards you, it will want to lodge in your sweater, it will chase after a ball”.

On the Facebook page of the LISA association, ferrets are offered for adoption:

The daily life of the Lisa association consists above all in regulating the continuous flow of arrivals of dogs and cats left by their owners. Abandonments are more frequent than adoptions. Even small dogs that are in high demand in normal times seem to have trouble finding a master.

Foster families are working with volunteers to take care of the dozens of dogs waiting. The six ferrets passing through the premises only complete the sad list of animals without families.

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