Promise of a new home may doom Non Profit Ferret Shelter with over 100 animals

September 27, 2006 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
Since the announcement of an anonymous couple being willing to donate to help purchase a building for Ferrets Unlimited Ferret Shelter, things have gone horribly wrong.

Surrenders have been gone up 70%; donations have gone down to $50 every other month (when the shelter is lucky).

With mounting veterinary costs ($9500 spent between January and the end of June), animals being turned in that are in need of life saving surgery and treatment and decline of donations, the shelter is looking at a very grim future.

“Ever since we announced we were promised help to purchase a building so the shelter can be more accessible to the public, things have just gone from bad to worse.” States shelter director Jean Caputo-Lee. “People expect this couple to support the shelter as well as provide a building for it. The shelter has grown far beyond what we ever thought possible, and we have a waiting list for surrenders. There is NO PLACE in this house a human can go that does not contain either animals, or shelter items. (Microscope in the kitchen for example.) They are willing to help us set a precedence in this area of sheltering, they are willing to help us provide better service to Northern Ohio. We need the support of Northern Ohio, we need the support of the ferret community. We desperately need volunteers.

Ferrets Unlimited has been trying to raise money over and above what our normal operating costs are so to purchase needed items to move into a building, but that hasn’t been working, what little has been raised went to veterinary costs, food, and supplies. Imagine going through 120 pounds of Feline Pine (litter) and or wood stove pellets (used as litter) a week, laundry for the ferrets runs15 to 18 loads a week.

When asked what area does the shelter serve, and why it is necessary; Caputo-Lee replies, “We serve Northern Ohio, from the Pennsylvania border to the Ohio Indiana Border, down as far south as Mansfield.

We have even had ferrets brought to us from New York, Florida, and Kansas just because people say we have a good reputation, and put the ferrets first.

Why is what we do necessary? That is easy, we take the burden of caring for a species that has very specific requirements off the local municipality kennels, Humane Societies, and provide education to those who want to learn and possibly become ferret owners.

We take on abused, improperly trained ferrets. Neglected and abused ferrets (biters) receive rehabilitation and we find homes for them. Animals that would considered unadoptable and most likely to sleep in most shelters.

Surgery is another big need in some of the ferrets that come into the shelter. Some people look at a ferret needing adrenal surgery as something to be disposed of, or the elderly ferrets, people do not want them to die on them, so they bring them here.

Ferrets in need of constant medical care, or are elderly are given a home and care for whatever time they have left on the earth.

Vet care is not free, Humane Societies, City and County Kennels are already over burdened with the dog and cat population. They cannot give ferrets the needed attention, time, and care needed.

When there are ferrets, we step in and take that burden off them.

Imagine what will happen if this place closes because of good intentions (the promise of a building) there are over 100 animals here, some needing surgery, some are elderly.

Many would be put to sleep because of age or veterinary needs. Something we do not do.

This place survived for 12 years. It survived 2003, when I had Stage 4 CANCER, and lost the hamstring muscle in my left leg. It survived me being in a wheel chair and learning to walk again.

It survived then, but it looks like it will not survive good intentions. It just is not right. It isn’t fair to the ferrets.”

For more information and to see some of the ferrets in the shelter please visit

Ferrets Unlimited Ferret Shelter is a non-profit charity under IRS Code 502 ( c ) ( 3 ). Donations are tax deductible.