Where Can I Buy a Ferret?
Whether you live in the U.S, the U.K., Canada or Australia, there are several alternatives to getting your ferret from your local pet store.
The first place most people think of when asked:“Where Can I Buy a Ferret?” is a pet store.
The biggest and most well known breeder is Marshall Farm/Marshal Ferret. It is the primary supplier of ferrets to pet stores in the U.S. It has been reported that Marshall Farm also sells ferrets for research.
Selling ferrets for research aside, a problem with having one breeder supplying the majority of ferrets is that there is not enough diversity in bloodline and genetics. Therefore, medical conditions that are genetically linked are perpetuated in generation after generation. Ferrets from Marshall Farm are neutered or spayed, so there is no possibility of future breeding with a ferret from a different bloodline.
Before becoming more informed about this problem, I got several of my ferrets from pet stores. My first ferret was Silky. Although he was neutered, he was not descented. I loved him dearly, but he left his scent behind everywhere!
There are numerous ferret breeders that sell ferrets. But they are not necessarily in every state or area. You can purchase a ferret directly from a breeder. Some may even allow you to see the parents. However, like other pets, there are “ferret mills” out there.
I got one of my ferrets, Chantile, from a breeder in Iowa. She was not spayed or descented. I had to have both procedures done at a vet. As I found out later, she was younger than the standard minimum of 8 weeks that they should be kept with their mother. I got my next ferret, Panda, from a different breeder in Iowa. I got to meet her parents and see where the ferrets were kept. She was also not spayed or descented. So, again, I needed to have the vet take care of that. The cost of descenting and spaying or neutering adds hundreds of dollars to the cost of the ferret.
Many times small breeders specialize in certain colors and/or “show quality” ferrets. If you are looking for a show quality black ferret, for example, a breeder is where you want to go. Many small scale breeders show their ferrets at ferret shows and they breed their ferrets for certain qualities. Show quality ferrets sell at a premium, but if that’s what you want, a breeder is the place to get one.
Some breeders in the US specialize in ferrets that have European bloodlines. Diseases such as adrenal disease are much less common in Europe. By incorporating European stock into the breeder’s ferrets, it is hoped that healthier ferrets will result.
Just like with other pets, people sell their ferrets for a number of reasons. Many are impulse buyers or people simply misinformed about what it takes to take care of a ferret. You never know what condition the ferret will be in or what environment he has lived in. Some people will take good care of the ferret until they sell him, but others may not want to take the time to give the ferret the care and attention he needs.
I got 3 ferrets from a family I found out were selling their ferrets and cage as a package deal. They decided they didn’t have time to take care of them. At least they made the right decision to find a better home for them. It was a bit of a drive, and the cage was filthy and required a lot of cleaning, but it was well worth it. I named the 3 Siera, Tacara and Toby. They were wonderful.
Unfortunately, there are many ferrets in shelters.
Ferret shelters are a great place to get a ferret for a number of reasons. First of all by getting a ferret from a shelter, you are helping out some unfortunate little fuzzy that through no fault of her own is without a home. It’s always nice to know you are helping control the problem of unwanted pets by adopting one that is without a home.
Another good thing about shelters is that the people running the shelter have a lot of experience with ferrets and will be able to answer a prospective ferret parent’s questions. While most pet shops won’t take back a pet once purchased, most shelters will since the purpose of a shelter is to find a good home for the ferret.
If for any reason you are unsure about if a ferret is a good fit for your lifestyle, I would really recommend seeing if there are any shelters in your area. Unfortunately, that’s one of the downsides of shelters. Not every place has them.
Below are some resources for finding a ferret to adopt.
Adopt a Pet
North America’s largest non-profit pet adoption website. You can search by type of pet and by zip code. The search will bring up ferrets closest to you. You can also sign up to be notified via email when a ferret becomes available in your area.
Ferret Rescue & Education Society
The Ferret Rescue & Education Society (FRES) is a non-profit, charitable organization that was started by a group of devoted ferret owners in the Calgary area. The society offers ferrets to foster and adopt.
RSCPA is an animal welfare charity with locations throughout the U.K. You can search by type of pet and location. The search for ferrets in under “small furries.” There is an online application you can fill out as well.
Victorian Ferret Society
Victorian Ferret Society is an Australian incorporated society. The society is involved with rescuing ferrets, among other tasks.
The above list is just a few of the places to look if you want to add a ferret to your family. If you want to adopt a ferret that needs a good home and a lot of love, you can check shelters and ferret organizations in your area, as well.
Where Can I Buy a Ferret?
Be sure to educate yourself and your family on what a ferret needs to be healthy and happy. Seriously consider if you are willing to dedicate the time and resources to providing a ferret a good home. Check out some of the articles here, such as, Are Ferrets Good Pets? and Ferret Care Tips.
Before you decide where to find your ferret, consider your options and also consider how you can help a ferret have a better life.
Do you know of another organization where you can adopt a ferret? Leave the info and I’ll check it out!
Your comments are welcome.