Most ferrets come to us either sick, malnourished or near death. We are a “no kill” shelter which means we never allow our ferrets to be put to sleep because they’re old, if we’re overcrowded or if they are diseased or ill and we can medically treat them. We rely on the donations of animal lovers to keep us running, and you’re always welcome to adopt one of our babies.
The shelter is run on a volunteer basis and has no paid employees. We don’t get any outside funding, even though we are a registered “not for profit” organization.
Our shelter officially opened it’s doors to ferrets in Oct 1996. Lucky was our first successful rescue ferret. He came from a local Animal Pound where he was only hours away from being killed. Lucky is now happily living in B.C. with his new owner.
We love and treat all the ferrets who come into our doors as if they were our own. It’s hard sometimes to see them go, but the good part of it is that we always know that they are going into a loving home with people who will love them as much as we did.
In October of 1994, I received a phone call about a ferret that was abandoned in a Brampton garbage dump. When my mom and I arrived at the scene, what we saw shocked and repulsed us. Broken glass and rotten food littered the ground. The stench was sickening and I remember I threw up from the smell on our first visit
Mom and I rummaged through this putrid mess for 4 hours with no luck. I knew that if we didn’t find the ferret soon, it would die. There is a common misconception that ferrets are wild animals and can survive if ‘released’. This is simply untrue, and ferrets will die if they get loose. They have no wild instinct left and in fact, a domestic house cat stands a better chance of survival in the wild then a ferret.
When we had no luck locating the ferret, we decided to go home and see if anyone would help us. To my shock, no animal welfare group would lend a hand! I called the SPCA, our local Humane Society and even Animal Control. I had no clue how to deal with this situation, but knew I had to do something. The SPCA, Humane Society & Animal Control all told me that ferrets were wild animals and that I should call the wildlife services.
Angry and frustrated, I called the Mississauga Wildlife Services as a last resort. Reluctantly, they agreed to help, even though they knew ferrets weren’t wild animals. They too were shocked that our humane agencies didn’t know that at the time. The wildlife group loaned us a live trap in good faith as well as some much needed advice.
Mom and I went straight to the dump, set the trap and spent the next few hours digging in the garbage for the ferret. I knew in my heart we would find him and give him a good home. I returned to the trap several times all night only to find it closed, but empty. For days I prayed and searched every night.
My mom kept telling me that we would find the ferret. She was so encouraging and kept the faith through the whole thing. Her and I would drive the 1/2 hour trip 5-6 times a day and I would go on my own in the middle of the night 2-3 times while mom slept. Each time I entered the dump, I was hopeful that I would find the little one safe, in the live trap. I wanted so bad to make a difference in his life.
Finally, on day 8, a caretaker told me he saw my ferret run behind a wall of loosely stacked bricks. I gathered up as many friends as I could and we began moving the HUGE wall of bricks, one at a time.
We moved hundreds of bricks in search of the ferret. I began to get hopeful when we found his food stash. I cried out in excitement, knowing I would be his savior! My mom started to cry, telling me how proud she was of me for doing something I believed in so much. My friends moved faster, the excitement was bursting!
We moved quickly and found his sleeping den, then after many more bricks, a lifeless body. He had died, waiting for me. I broke down hysterically when I realized he was dead and that I failed him. I fell into my mothers arms and sobbed for what seemed like days. I vowed that day, to never let this happen to another ferret as long as I lived!
We named the ferret “Our Little Hope”, for he brought hope to the ferret population in Ontario. It’s just too bad he had to die for them. Mom and I began rescuing ferrets from then on and were fortunate enough to come upon many other ferret “rescuers”. The Ferret Aid Society was born out of this.
The Ferret Aid Society is a non-profit shelter for ferrets. They have no paid employees. Founded in the memory of “Our Little Hope”, it continues to adopt and rescue ferrets while striving to do humane education and activism work. They are a humane shelter, never killing their ferrets when things get crowded, and never turning a needy ferret away.
If you would like to contact the shelter, we can be reached at:
Ferret Aid Society
1250 South Service Road
P.O. Box 38022
Mississauga, ON L5E 3G3
Randy Belair (president): firstname.lastname@example.org