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About the PFRA


The Pennsylvania Ferret Rescue Association is one of over two hundred ferret shelters in the United States devoted solely to the needs of domestic ferrets and their owners. The PFRA functions as a placement/referral service for individuals seeking to place their ferret(s) in a new home and for persons interested in adopting ferrets. While we no longer accept casual ferret surrenders from private owners, the PFRA works closely with other rescue agencies (e.g. Humane Societies and Rescue Leagues) to ensure that surrendered and confiscated ferrets are not euthanized due to lack of space and resources. We also strive to further education for ferret owners fielding questions via e-mail and phone and for the general public through Ferret Awareness Days at local pet stores, pet store employee education and the distribution of health and care information.

The Pennsylvania Ferret Rescue Association was formerly known as the Central Pennsylvania Ferret Rescue. It was founded in 1994 by Kym (Becker) Costanzo, former Director of the Montgomery County branch of the PFRA which closed in May of 2001.

A turning point in the shelter's history came in 1997 when Kym moved from Centre County to Montgomery County. Rather than close the shelter she had started in Centre County, she chose to expand the shelter to two branches and change the name to the Pennsylvania Ferret Rescue Association. Later in 1997, a third shelter branch was opened. With this expansion, the shelter immediately grew from a small, local facility to a statewide rescue organization. The dedication and expertise of the new shelter directors, Mary McCarty-Houser (Centre County) and Chris and Tara Palaski (Westmoreland County), has significantly contributed to helping make the PFRA one of the most successful ferret shelters in the country. Now that the Mongomery County branch has closed, we are again a two-branch organization.

The PFRA Board of Directors meets four times a year to discuss a variety of shelter issues. Policies and procedures are continually reviewed and improvements and adjustments are made to ensure that we are providing the best care possible to the ferrets. Other items covered are efforts in the education of the public about ferrets, administrative issues, fundraising ideas, and the sharing of experiences to help each director learn from each other and become as knowledgable as possible on ferret-related issues.

The PFRA makes it a point to attend as many ferret shows along the East Coast as possible every year. Shows are a great source of revenue for the shelter as well as being a way of continually keeping ties with the rest of the ferret shelter community.

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