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Surprise… Ferrets as Gifts

By Mary Van Dahm

Ferrets as Gifts -- By Mary Van Dahm

Cute and cuddly, ferrets hold a special appeal to many people. Unfortunately not everyone holds this view, or even if they do, they might not be ready for a ferret at this time.

Almost every spring between the middle of January and the end of March, we see a surge of young ferrets dropped off at the shelters.

“I got it as a gift”, is often the reason given. People usually have good intentions, but don’t think things through. A friend says that they would love to have a ferret, but for some reason they don’t have one. This doesn’t mean that buying them one would be the perfect present. Maybe the reason they don’t have one is because they live in a no pet apartment, or maybe a family member is allergic to animals. Maybe they don’t have the finances right now to buy a cage, supplies and food or to pay for vaccinations and other veterinary care.

Also, people often express interest in an animal, but that doesn’t always mean that they actually want one. I love tigers and leopards, but that doesn’t mean that I would want someone to go out and get me one! I would not have room for one, nor do I have the time and proper resources to provide the attention and care that such an animal would require.

If you still want to give someone a ferret as a gift, don’t make it a surprise. Let them know that you were thinking of getting them a pet ferret and would like to have them come along to pick it out. This lets them know that you are planning a special gift for them, yet gives them a chance to say “No” if necessary. If they say yes, then at least you know that they will be getting the animal that they want. What if you had bought an albino and they really wanted a sable? Or what if they preferred a female rather than a male?

Another option would be to buy a couple of books on ferrets and give them to the person along with a note letting them know that if they still want a ferret after reading up on them and learning about them, then you would be honored to take them to get one.

If the person does decide that they want a ferret, suggest going to a shelter since there are so many ferrets in need of homes. This way you will be giving the ferret a gift, too – a gift of a new home!

[intlink id=”fair”]This article originally appeared in the November/December 2001 issue of "The F.A.I.R. Report".[/intlink]