Procedure for Surrendering Ferrets

If surrender is the best option for your ferret(s), we are here to help. As long as space in one of our shelters is available, we will take in any ferret in need. Our goal is to never have to turn a needy ferret away from our doors.

To surrender a ferret, simply 
fill out our Request to Surrender Form. When filling out this form, please provide complete information, including the name(s) and age(s) of the ferret(s) you need to turn over to us. Age is VERY important, so please try to provide as accurate an age as you are able to us. We also need to know if your ferret(s) lived in a cage or were free-run; if they lived with other pets; if they have ANY medical issues; and very important is the exact brand of food that they were used to eating.

We do have some requirements for owners wishing to surrender their ferret(s) to us. We ask that you please remember that we are a shelter, we are not a business, and we rely on volunteers to run our shelter and donations to keep our doors open so that we can provide a place for ferrets like yours to come to. We are going to treat your ferret(s) as if they were our very own pets and we will provide everything from food and bedding to medical care if need be. We feel that the little that we ask in return from you is fair.

  • We ask that upon surrender you provide copies of any veterinary records, including vaccination history, that you have. You can contact your veterinarian who should be happy to make copies of your ferret’s veterinary history. This information is very helpful to us and to the new owner, and in some cases can be life-saving if anything in the medical history ever becomes significant. Your vaccination records can also prevent us from over-vaccinating your ferret; we vaccinate all ferrets that come to the shelter unless proof of current vaccination is provided.

  • We ask that you please bring the following along to the shelter when surrendering a ferret:
    • At least one full week’s worth of the food that your ferret is used to eating. It is VERY important that we have the exact kind of food and that we do not change your ferret’s diet too suddenly.
    • At least one piece of your ferret’s bedding (hammock, blanket, etc.) and DO NOT wash it for at least one week prior to surrender. Your ferret’s scent on this piece of bedding will be very comforting to him or her and can dramatically decrease the risk of shelter shock.
    • Any favorite toys, bedding, dishes, etc. that are familiar to your ferret should be sent along as well. We are trying to keep as much ‘normal’ as possible for your ferret while he or she gets used to the new surroundings.
    • Please complete a copy of our Ferret Information Sheet for each ferret that you are surrendering. This will provide us very important information that we need to know to make sure that your ferret adjusts well to the shelter, as well as help us find the ideal home for your ferret(s).

  • Donations are not required to the PFRG upon surrender. However, we do ask that you consider all that we will do for your ferret while he or she resides with us. We will be taking your ferret to the vet at least twice for a checkup and to receive rabies and distemper vaccinations, if needed. If your ferret has any medical problems, we will bear the expense to make your ferret well. We will feed, shelter, and provide necessities for your ferret for as long as it takes to find him or her the very best home possible. And we will take the time to care for and love your ferret as if he were one of our own. Our organization runs entirely on the work of volunteers and through donations and fundraising efforts of our club members. While your donation is not required, it is greatly appreciated.

Is Surrender the Right Thing to Do?

People surrender ferrets to ferret shelters for many different reasons. Sometimes, an owner’s lifestyle has changed and they feel that they are no longer able to provide the best home for their ferret. Other times extenuating circumstances happen making an owner unable to keep his or her ferrets. Another common reason for surrender is that the owner wasn’t fully aware of the needs of a ferret prior to acquiring it, and isn’t able to provide the best environment. No matter the cause, the underlying reason we hear from an owner who is surrendering is “I cannot provide the best home for this ferret anymore.”

However, this is not necessarily always the case. Years of experience has shown us that sometimes what an owner feels is “not the best home” is really the 
only home that their ferret can thrive in. We ask that you please consider the following prior to contacting us regarding ferret placement.

Many ferrets turned over to a ferret shelter suffer what we call “shelter shock.” Regardless of the age or physical condition of the ferret, some level of shelter shock is to be expected. Symptoms of shelter shock range from mild diarrhea, tummy upset, and vomiting, to more serious symptoms as lethargy, refusal to eat or drink, and severe depression.

In younger, stronger ferrets, even the more severe symptoms can be combated and overcome quickly, and the ferret can go on to be placed in a wonderful new home. However, 
in older ferrets, shelter shock can be fatal. Shelter shock can trigger underlying health problems that have been kept ‘in check’ in their normal home with their normal routines. The stress of being moved to a new home, a new cage, with new smells and new routines can be very hard on an older ferret, or even a younger ferret with a compromised health situation.

If you have had your ferret for several years, and he or she is an older ferret (especially age 5 and older), it is in the best interest of your ferret to consider the reasons why you are thinking of surrendering him or her. If the reason is that you’re too busy to let the ferret out for hours a day for runtime, the chances are, your ferret doesn’t need that anymore. An elderly ferret may only need an hour or two per day outside of his or her cage rather than the six or eight you once gave. Perhaps there is a room in your home to which you could confine your ferret, and give her more runtime by herself while not requiring that you attend to her every moment she is out?

Perhaps you travel, and you do not wish to leave your ferret at home alone while you are away? The PFRG provides boarding services, both short- and long-term. That may possibly help alleviate some of the reason why you feel that you need to surrender. There are literally dozens of scenarios that we could cover here where an alternative that you have not considered may become a responsible, acceptable solution. The bottom line is that we may be able to help you find a way that you can keep your ferret in his or her familiar environment, while not inconveniencing you, and quite possibly saving your ferret’s life.

Understand that the last thing that we want is for an owner who is unable to provide a good home for their ferret to keep it — but, if there is a way to make the situation work for both you and your ferret, why not give us the chance to help?