How it all began...

by Julie Stoodley

Sasha and Heidi, two twelve week old albino sisters arrived, my first ferrets, and the ones that changed my life - literally! From a full-time worker and mum I became 'The Mad ferret Woman'! Two ferrets became three; three became four; four became six
.....Ooops! My colony now complete, but all too soon another arrived, then another and another.....Sleaford Ferret Rescue was born.
"Unusual creatures, don't they bite?" "Don't they smell?"
"They can't be pets" and
"Is she mad" - all too familiar sayings that we've all heard before. But the calls kept coming and it wasn't too long before the RSPCA got in touch.

"We have no animal shelter in Lincolnshire and rely on people like yourself to help out, "explained the RSPCA inspector. "Wildlife go to the wildlife centres, cats and dogs to catteries and kennels, but ferrets, now that's different. Because of a lack of knowledge and bad press we find them difficult to place, could you assist?" There was no hesitation with my reply....

Since January 2002 I have gained a large shed, numerous hutches, an enclosure consisting of five six-foot runs with sleeping quarters and a further five four-foot run areas. I have had 70 ferrets pass through here and PR is booming. I have visited schools and re-homed to numerous 'first time' owners who hadn't realised how wonderful ferrets could be. the bad press that ferrets once had will, hopefully, be well in the past.

It hasn't been plain sailing, with a mishaps on the way including some great 'Escape artists' who didn't find their new living quarters quite acceptable. Needless to say, after a while with no cosy blankets, food or cuddles to hand they soon returned.

I no longer work and I want to put 100% into this, so I rely entirely on donations. I am always learning something new and the satisfaction of getting a 'wild-thing' through the doors and turning him round and sending him out as a loving, gentle pet to a fantastic new home is the biggest reward I could ever receive.

(Note from June:-
Julie is to be congratulated on an excellent relationship with the RSPCA who now undertake to neuter the ferrets taken into her care)

(First published in NFWS News August 2002)

Sleaford Ferret Rescue