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

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Shelter Shock

Most ferrets can do OK after they are dropped off at a shelter. I would say that 99 percent of them adjust after a few days and go on to being healthy and happy during their stay.

Then there is that 1 percent. They go into what is known as "shelter shock". They continue to grieve for weeks, even months, after they are dropped off, and can eventually starve themselves to death.

Unfortunately, one of the two ferrets who were relinquished to me during my stay at the shelter went into shelter shock. Boogety, the more sensitive of the two, has suffered greatly over the past few months.

When Boogety came in, he was fat, obese even. He has lost a lot of weight, to the point of being bony. He has little energy. He won't play very often. He has severe ulcers. He won't eat kibble, only soup, even though we give him the exact kibble that he ate before he came to the shelter. His eyes are listless, and he does not enjoy life. Even though Chris did everything she could for him, he failed to thrive.

I couldn't watch this happen any more. So I took him (and his buddy Frank) home with me, hoping that a different environment would help him. Maybe he needed more one-on-one time, I rationalized. Maybe more out time, in a house, would snap him out of his grief. I could tell that he wouldn't be here for very much longer if I didn't do something.