We have so many ferrets passing through the rescue, we would love to tell you about all of them but that would be a full time job in itself.
Instead, here are a handful of stories that have touched our hearts. We will try and update these when we can, but no promises on how often!
Cerys was surrendered to the rescue on the 20th of April. She was very thin and although she had been a stray, she had been taken in by somebody who mixed her with another stray hob. When she arrived with us she was about 7 days pregnant. Due to her overall condition, we had to let the pregnancy run its course and see how things turned out. We used this time to build a bond with Cerys so she would trust us should we have to intervene. She responded very quickly to good feeding and within a few weeks was starting to look like a very healthy pregnant jill.
Five beautiful kits were born, one of whom (Idris – pictured below) has joined our PR racing team!
Cerys has now been neutered and has found her forever loving home (pictured below)
On 13th July 2015 we were approached to help with a 9 week old kit (baby ferret) who the owner's vets had given up on.
He was less than half the size he should have been at that age and he had virtually no mobility. He had a condition called Swimmer’s Disease, which in ferrets is caused by poor nutrition in early life.
When we first saw Raph our hearts sank, because we could see how disabled he was and how much damage had been done and we knew not all of it could be reversed. But he had a spark in his eye and he was interested in life. After an initial examination with our vet we agreed to give him one week to see if we could improve his mobility with supplements and physio. He HATED physio and had to have it 6 to 12 times a day!! But he quickly started to improve.
He had been left with a lot of problems because of this, but Raph lived life to the full. He didn’t understand “you can’t” and he would always find a way to do whatever everyone else was doing!
Sadly, Raph passed away in 2020. He had become a huge part of the Rescue, showing off at events and winning hearts. He will always be an ambassador for Fluffy Retreat, overcoming so much to give us 5 laughter filled years.
On 18th May 2017 we were called to a stray ferret who had been through the wars.
When we collected him he was subdued. He was covered in bite wounds, which we were informed he had had for a week but had not received any treatment. He had large patches of hair missing, and his skin was very sore even where there were no wounds. He had sustained a lot of damage to one ear. He was thin, in generally very poor condition and exhibited listless behaviour.
We sought urgent vet advice on his wound care and started cleaning his wounds with hibiscrub (we did not know what animal had bitten him and some carry nasty things in their saliva, so it was very important to clean as much as we could). We could see when we started to clean the wounds that some were very deep and some were already infected. He started on a long course of antibiotics and veterinary feed to try to help with the shock and weight issues.
It took over a month for his wounds to heal, but we were left with a ferret who was fearful of his own shadow! It took a further 3 months to get him to mix with other ferrets and to start enjoying life and then he suddenly started to play one night! Weasel war dancing like fury! And our hearts soared.
Tommy has sadly since passed away but lived out his days happy and healthy in his forever home.
In November 2016 we took in a ferret who had been through the wars, with a badly broken leg (an old injury that was not treated) and a new injury of a massive head trauma.
We rushed him to our emergency vet and he underwent investigations and x-rays before having life-saving surgery. Being an old injury, his leg had been left too long to save and so the only option was to remove it to give him a chance at life.
36 hours after amputation and treatment he was climbing on the furniture and generally being as naughty and mischievous as all ferrets are!
Zeebee did make a full recovery and had a very pampered life, but he hopped over the rainbow bridge later in life.
Winston is a little bit different. He’s not really a ferret! But a relative… he is an EU polecat. His behaviour suggests that he has at least spent some of his life as a wild polecat and some in captivity.
At the end of 2018 Winston found himself in a wildlife centre with a badly broken and reset jaw and he had also incurred other injuries to his skull. The injuries meant that there was no way that he could be released and whilst his behaviour suggested some humanisation, he also showed signs of wild behaviour. In these cases the options are limited and often they are put to sleep. But the wildlife centre felt that he deserved a chance to see if he could cope in captivity again.
The first thing we needed to do was build up his strength as he was in very poor condition, and then as soon as he was able to withstand a general anaesthetic he had to have the bottom teeth removed (because of the badly reset broken jaw they were now all in the wrong place and causing constant pain and injury to his face).
He remains at the rescue at the moment and has bonded well with the rescue manager, he can now cope with new people being around, but will still bolt for cover if they try to approach him. His favourite pastime is watching TV on the rescue managers lap at night, when everything is peaceful.