We have been involved with ferrets since 1992, when a college roommate purchased a ferret (on impulse of course) and
refused to take care of it properly. Being the "sucker-animal-lovers" that we are, Tara and I took little "Fart"
(yes that was actually his name) under our wing and fell in love with ferrets. We waited until we were out of
school and had steady jobs to acquire Natasha, our "first" ferret. She was an 8-10 week old kit, in a
cage with 6 months old ferrets. She was scared to death and too little to fight the bigger ferrets for food.
So, we "rescued" her and that started this whole crazy "ride".
In 1997, we visited our local shelter in Philadelphia where we lived at the time. We met Kym Becker and learned
all about the PA Ferret Rescue Association (which at the time consisted of only her shelter in Montgomery County
PA and the shelter in Centre County, which eventually became Mary's shelter) We saw the shelter and just KNEW
that we wanted to help. After visiting Kym a few times and learning more about ferrets than
we thought was
possible, we started sheltering and soon had two shelter ferrets sharing our lives, Katie and Kaya. Katie
went on to become our first adoption (we called Kym crying our eyes out, asking how she could possibly do this,
and she comforted us and explained to us how to handle it, she was always there when we needed her!!) and Kaya
eventually weaseled his way into our hearts and became one of our own personal ferrets. We became the official
directors of the PFRA of Chester County in 1997. After moving across the state back to Western PA (closer to our
families), we opened The PFRA of Westmoreland County.
Sheltering has been the most rewarding experience and the most difficult experience of our lives, all rolled into one.
Running a shelter gives you the rare opportunity to see abused, neglected, and scared ferrets blossom into the happy,
joyful, balls of energy that we all know and love, however, all shelter stories are not as wonderful. Unfortunately,
being a shelter mom or dad also means that you have to deal with people who have neglected or abused a ferret so
terribly for the majority of its life and to such an extreme, that the only thing left that you can do as a
shelter parent is to let that ferret know that it is loved and safe for the last part of it's life and as it
crosses the Rainbow Bridge. This "job" makes you LOVE ferrets and good ferret owners, it lets you see a joy for
life and living that only ferrets have, but it also makes you very saddened, angry, and sometimes even
hateful of the human race. We've never understood how people can treat other people and animals like property.
Life is precious, handle it with care. We ask that any person reading this take a moment and think about life before
purchasing ANY animal as a pet. If that animal isn't going to be part of your life, your heart, and your family, then
please don't do it.
Our personal ferrets started with Natasha and include Boris, Misha, Ivan, Nikolai, Gunther, Gaela, Nietzsche,
Sigmund (Piggy), Isabella, Bailey, Einar, Lucky, George, Ian, Frankie, Grendel, Dervish, Kaya, and Nuks (Sir
Isaac Nuckenfutz to be exact), Moose (NBF's Magnum Maximus of PF), Levi, Monkey (NBF's Monkey Business of PF), Winky
NBF's Herr Winky von Weaselstein of PF), and Banshee (NBF's Wailing Banshee of PF) . Tara and I also share our home
with Samson our Doberman, Bailey our "what-kind-of-dog-is-that-but-he's-really-cute" puppy. So, all of our loving pets and the shelter keep us quite busy!!
Chris is a licensed ferret judge for the AFA, and has judged ferret shows as far away as
Shizuoka, JAPAN!!! Tara has also recently accepted the position of Secretary/Office Manager for the AFA.
Running a shelter is a HUGE part of our lives. It is a demanding, yet enjoyable and satisfying "second job".
Tara is the AFA Office Manager/Secretary full-time from home. Chris is a forensic scientist for the PA State Police
in their DNA Laboratory in Greensburg PA. We also enjoy watching movies, playing cards, playing with our puppies, and totally
"vegging" on the Outer Banks with Mary, Pat, and the rest of the gang for our annual beach excursion!!!
Check back soon for more information and pictures of us, our fuzzies, and our puppies.