Welcome to the blog for the Oregon Ferret Shelter! Ideally, this will be a nice venue for friends of the shelter to get information about what is going on with the shelter. Or maybe just to view some funny gifs.

To get to the Oregon Ferret Shelter's main website, please visit OregonFerretShelter.org

Monday, July 6, 2015

Teach Your Cat To Use The Litter Box Easily -- a Guest Post by Earlene Krause

Often, ferret owners have other pets besides ferrets. This month, our friend Earlene Krause has written some information about house training your kitten. Since we can always use more information about our fuzzy companions (either ferret or non-ferret), here is Earlene's article.


Teach Your Cat To Use The Litter Box Easily

It might seem very difficult to try to teach a pet without even knowing to speak its language, but more often, body language, gestures tells a lot more than words. Teaching your kitten to use the litter box will take time just like it took with your kid. The steps to be followed are almost similar and it is also a way to build trust between you and your pet. It does not take much of your time either, unless you are completely unaware of handling your kitten.

Know Their Habits

Try to know the pattern of her soiling and eliminating so that you know exactly when to carry her to the litter box. In the first weeks you need to manually carry her over to the litter box and introduce it to her and explain the proper usage. Once she or he begins to like it, she will know and remember to use it.

● Try to maintain a time table and feed her at regular intervals. Cats are supposed to eliminate shortly after they eat. Once you keep the inputs regular, you can easily follow the pattern of the outputs.
● Apart from short intervals after their meals, they also eliminate after they are awake from a long sleep like two hours, or after little exercise or after a play session. You need to be with her during these times in order to understand her habits. Introduction To Litter Box When you are aware of her timings or you find her inclining towards soiling somewhere else, quickly carry her to the litter box and put her inside it, let her finish with her job. Now, it is the most important time to reward the cat.
● You need to praise her and show that you are very pleased with her behavior. Gently pad her, cuddle her and make her feel very special for doing it in the box.
● Next, try calling her to the litter box instead of carrying her to it instantly like you did before. She should understand that she should not be eliminating anywhere else but the box. Especially, try to always call her from those places where she has soiled previously.

No Surprises

Cats might stop using the box because of nervousness introduced from new cats in the house, new people or children on a vacation, you're moving out of the house on a vacation or simply buying a new furniture that comes along the old road to her box. Any of these surprises might make her insecure and fell in an unwanted territory. These are some of the things you need to take care.
Take time to make her believe that the litter box is a neat and clean place and the best place in the whole house for his business. Most of the times cats refuse to use it just because they feel it isn't neat enough, just like most human beings. Everything happens gradually, so don't be impatient and discipline her always.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Oregon Ferret Shelter needs you to help fight City Hall

The Oregon Ferret Shelter is in serious trouble. Clackamas County is trying to rezone the land that the shelter sits on. It seems that some developer want to make a huge subdivision up the street from the shelter on Holly Lane. They also want to widen Holly Lane to four lanes so that they can make this historically rural area into a highway with accompanying mini-malls, frozen yogurt stores and tanning booths. Right now, the shelter's neighbors include several ranches and homes with several acres. Where we see a place to help homeless animals, some developer -- and his rich friends -- see a way to make money by squeezing out people who can't give them millions of dollars. Real classy, Clackamas County.

Fortunately, this is not California, where people like these city planners can eminent domain whatever land they want and sell it to the highest bidder. Clackamas County is going through through a process where they deem our shelter as "not adding significant value to the community" to justify its rezoning and possible closing down of our shelter.

The County's plan is attempting to rezone our shelter to a "local business" instead of what it is (and has been since 1985) -- animal husbandry. In doing so, the County hopes to levy $4500 in fees, charge a $1500 business license (good for three years), and set a whole new standard of operations for the shelter. Tens of thousands of dollars would have to be spent to make this rural homestead into a proper business that is governed by the same laws as Intel or Microsoft. New parking lots, building codes, even new bathrooms would need to be made to specifications. It is ridiculous to expect a nonprofit that runs on a shoestring budget and takes no federal or state aid to adhere to the same rules as a for-profit entity, especially since the shelter has been in operation for 28 years this way. All of that money needs to go to feeding and giving medical care to the ferrets, not to pad some bureaucrat's fat wallet.

Just to prove that this is all about money and not at all about making the County a better place, Michael McAllister said this: If you want to remain animal husbandry, all you have to do is skin your ferrets and you'll fall under the category of a fur farm. Problem solved.

WE DO NOT KILL AND SKIN PETS! And it is SICK SICK SICK of you to ask us to do so in order to meet your new standards.

That was the last straw. We have hired a lawyer, but we also need to ask you, our fans, to help us interrupt this process.

If you would be so kind as to copy and paste the letter below and mail it off to the following people, you can help us in our fight to keep our shelter going. Bless you for helping the ferrets!

Note: Also, if you could add your own story to the end of the letter, that would make it more personal and helpful. And if you could send a copy to our shelter so we can keep track of all this good will, please send it to: Oregon Ferret Shelter, 17560 S Holly Lane, Oregon City, OR 97045. Thank you for your efforts. We know it's asking a lot. But we really need this help.

The two addresses to send this letter are:

Michael McAllister, Clackamas County planning Director
Development Service Building
150 Beavercreek Road
Oregon City, OR 97045


Rhett Tatum, Clackamas County Assistant County counsel
Public Services Building
2051 Kaen Road
Oregon City, OR 97045

May 7, 2013

Dear Sirs:

It has come to our attention that you are not allowing farming zoning rights to continue for the Oregon Ferret Shelter after 28 years of being in operation. You propose that what the OFS does falls under the category of "Business" instead of "Animal husbandry", and you are asking us to completely redefine our practices and pay a significant amount into your coffers for this privilege. In addition, you accuse the shelter of not adding to the culture of Clackamas County and therefore not being worthy of saving.

Animal husbandry is described as the caring for animals from beginning until end. The shelter doesn't practice breeding shelter ferrets as a means of financial gain, but it does care for sick ferrets and relocate them into new homes. The shelter takes in more than 350 ferrets per year, and we find forever homes for approximately 250 ferrets. We are a no-kill shelter; no ferret is ever turned away for lack of room or euthanized.

The Oregon Ferret Shelter works with many different demographics, providing various services to help the people of Clackamas County. Shelter volunteers visit local schools to educate the kids on the joys and responsibilities of owning and caring for a domestic pet. We teach and use volunteers to do "outreaches" in local events and pet stores to educate the public on what is required to properly own and care for ferrets, which helps to cut back on pet impulse buying (a problem that occurs in every area that allows pet stores to sell live animals). The shelter regularly works with juvenile and adult offenders through various programs, giving them a safe environment to do their community service. In addition, the shelter most recently worked with Lewis & Clark College for students to perform a day of service for their "Spring Into Action" program. All of these steps help to keep the number of unwanted, abandoned, or dumped ferrets down and the number of involved community members up.

Not only does the OFS teach children and help ferrets, but it also helps the elderly and disabled in the Clackamas County community. Many retired and disabled persons take unadoptable ferrets into foster care, giving these people a vital purpose while helping out a ferret that may otherwise be euthanized.

The Oregon Ferret Shelter is also a very necessary part of your community for this reason: The Oregon Humane Society doesn't keep ferrets at their shelters -- they rely on the OFS to handle unwanted ferrets. Most local animal control facilities in this area do the same. The Oregon Ferret Shelter is one of the largest ferret shelters in the United States, and this shelter is known worldwide for the good that it does. Its fame brings your county worldwide recognition. This alone is a very good reason for your reconsideration in this matter.

It is our understanding that you have refused to let the shelter continue to operate "as is" under a grandfather clause. We are pleading for your reconsideration in this situation. No harm is being done, only good!


Saturday, November 24, 2012

It ain't all frickin roses...

I got a complaint on my Facebook account that one of our posts was not done to a reader's liking. She referred to the Robin Williams post and was horrified that I had dared to insult him for saying this:

He told Empire magazine: "The ferret is the most annoying animal. I'm probably going to get hate mail from angry ferret owners now, 'How dare you insult the ferret! It's basically a loveable weasel.' "There's a show in America where all these people compete with ferrets and they don't even do anything. They basically hold them up and if they don't bite you might win."

I think her anger comes from a basic misunderstanding of what we in the animal rescue world have to endure every day. She, along with many other people, has this idea that animal rescue is all fun and games, that we just get up every day and sing while petting all the ferrets in turn, maybe gleefully chucking around a little food (like feeding chickens), and playing games until the sun goes down, when we sing lullabyes to our charges and tiptoe out while they sleep soundly.

She doesn't realize that every day is a battle. Every. Single. Day.

* Will we have enough food for this month?
* Will the donations come through or do we have to dip into our retirement fund again?
* Will we be able to pay our mortgage?
* Do we have enough money to get surgery for this poor guy who has a giant bloody tumor on his neck?
* Some celebrity just said that ferrets kill people. How many calls are we going to have to field and tell people ferrets don't do that? How many people will just drop off their ferrets anyway, sometimes just driving up and chucking them into our front yard?
* Do we have enough gas to go pick up the ferrets that someone left in a field/in an abandoned apartment/in a parking lot? Will we get there before someone or something kills them?
* Can we get to the Humane Society/local animal control/other animal rescue to pick up those found ferrets before they put them to sleep? For example, the local Humane Society won't take care of ferrets. Instead they give them to us -- as long as we can get out there and get them before someone decides they are too much trouble to hang on to, even for a few hours.

These are just some of the questions we have had to answer over the years. Animal rescue is just that -- rescue. It is dangerous, hard work that is 24/7 with no breaks. It takes every dollar it can find, and it never pays salaries (at least our shelter cannot afford to pay -- we are an all-volunteer outfit). The burnout rate for animal rescue is even higher than that for cops and nurses. And there are always cases we can't save, we don't get to in time, or simply don't have the equipment for, and these cases haunt us every day and give us enormous guilt.

So yeah, we get cheesed off when a celebrity makes our lives that much harder. And we may, on occasion, tell the world how it impacts us. We may even get angry and write a letter saying how angry we are.

But as hard as it may be for a reader to read those words, at least those readers don't have to live with these horrible situations every single day. But we do. And we don't do it to make other people happy or to get kudos. We do it because of the ferrets. They are innocent victims of stupid human politics, of greed, of misinformation, of lies, and of senseless horrific cruelty. We do it to tip the scales a little bit in the other direction.

So, if you don't like the opinions expressed here, don't read it. These words are not for the weak. They are for my fellow animal rescue warriors, the ones who selflessly put in their time to help make the ferrets' world a better place. And if you can't help us, even just by telling other people that we exist and are here to help ferrets, then go find something else to read.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Coming up: Northwest Pet & Companion Fair

This Saturday, May 5th, and Sunday, May 6th, will be the place to be this weekend when the Oregon Ferret Shelter brings its volunteers and its ferrets to spread the good word about weasels! Since its redesign, the fair's looks have much improved. It's now much bigger, and hopefully it will be much more successful. I look forward to seeing all of the animal booths -- especially ours, since I won't be one of the volunteers there this year. Why? I have my own Petco gig on Sunday at Petco on NE Glisan and 66th in Portland. And next week, I have the Parkways gig. http://www.portlandonline.com/transportation/index.cfm?c=46103 I have never done the Parkways thing before. It looks huge, which is kind of scary. On the other hand, this could be a big break for us. We got contacted about Parkways from a ferret-owning representative who saw our page on Facebook. I was kind of blown away -- so many times, I feel like I am writing stuff that never gets seen. It makes me happy when we get some good feedback on our stuff. Awesome! So, hope to see you at the Expo this weekend and at Parkways next weekend. Woohoo!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The British Navy loves ferrets!


"Fifteen ships and two shore establishments of the Royal Navy have borne the name HMS Ferret, after the domestic mammal, the Ferret"

And then there is this huge list!

This happy piece of news really cheered me up. I hope it cheers you too. We adore our ferret-loving friends from across the sea!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

ThinkGeek is great for Xmas gifts!

ThinkGeek is a great site hosted by great people. If you have a smart and curious loved one to buy for, you should look here first. And yes, ferrets love the stuff that these guys sell. Seriously, I have a bunch of their stuff under my bed because of Tekkie, the technology-loving ferret. When I get stuff in, she takes it the first chance she gets unless we put it on top of the bookshelf. And even then, it's risky because the ThinkGeek goodies are JUST THAT AWESOME!

As you can see in the screen capture above, some of the people who shop at ThinkGeek also own ferrets. (Surprisingly, the Zombie-based pic above is not mine. We mostly buy Star Trek and Star Wars stuff, with a sprinkle of Doctor Who and random geek items in the mix.) The screen capture is an action shot of the Dismember-me Plush Zombie. If you want to get a Dismember-me Zombie of your own, you can find the zombie at http://www.thinkgeek.com/geektoys/plush/ac4a/?srp=1. The above ferret-filled page can be seen at: http://www.thinkgeek.com/geektoys/plush/ac4a/action/215aa9f/

Why do we love ThinkGeek so much? And why are we mentioning it on an Oregon Ferret Shelter blog? What do they have to do with us?

Well, a few years ago, a very nice representative of ThinkGeek, Shane Peterman, donated five shirts to our Weasels Dancing in the Park fundraiser. We haven't forgotten his kindness.

In appreciation for his donation, every chance we get, we recommend ThinkGeek to everyone we know. We hope to return his kindness a thousandfold.

One of ThinkGeek's donations was the Princess Bride shirt pictured here, with the name tag, "Hello my name is Inigo Montoya..."

You can still buy this shirt at ThinkGeek. It is awesome -- I still wear mine all the time. http://www.thinkgeek.com/tshirts-apparel/unisex/popculture/9f70/?srp=1

And I know this article is messy with all the links. But I thought that people would probably like to know where they were being redirected to (ya can't be too careful!).

So, happy shopping!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Artist Deva Kolb and the Gigantic Xmas Bag!

Deva Kolb, ferret-centric artist and fellow shelter supporter, has alerted everyone on the Ferret Mailing List to the presence of a particularly attractive gift bag, available on eBay.
Take a look at the collection of winsome weasel wonders!
Yep, it's got everything you need to explore your ferret side, including a 13-inch musical dancing ferret that sings Jingle Bell Rock until your ears bleed. But the best part? She also filled this bag with all sorts of her original artwork: a laminated poster of the Ferret Celtic Tree of Life, a Three Ferret Teapots poster with accompanying poem (also laminated), and best of all -- a 2012 Ferret clip art CD with over 250 high resolution drawings made by Deva herself! Anyone who has tried to find ferret artwork knows what an incredible hassle it is to find anything suitable. This is truly a gem!
Go forth and bid now! The profits from this bag go to benefit a ferret shelter. And if you give the contents of the bag to another ferret shelter, then you've helped a MULTITUDE of carpet sharks! Think of the karma!
(Santa Hat ferret is from last year's clip art CD. Thanks go to Deva for the use of her artwork!)