Buy a Ferret Or Adopt One?
So, you have settled on getting a pet ferret but is it better to buy a ferret or adopt? If you choose to buy a ferret you will have more control over the type that you have. If you want a specific color you can find a breeder or pet store that has what you are looking for. You will also have a better chance of getting a baby, or Kit, which you will be able to train as you want. You will be paying a bit more for your ferret initially and will also have to cover the full cost of vaccinations, neutering and descenting as well as microchipping the ferret. However, many of these are one-time costs.
If you prefer to adopt or re-home a ferret then you should contact local ferret rescue shelters and associations as well as organisations like the ASPCA in the US or the RSPCA in the UK to see if they have any. You will be interviewed by the staff to assess your suitability for a ferret and will be asked to make several return visits to select and bond with a ferret before bringing him home. You may also have a home visit by them to see what environment your prospective new arrival will be coming into and given tips and advice on how to make your home ferret proof.
Many of the ferrets that are available for adoption will be older and come from previous homes. You should ask the staff to provide you with as much background information that they have on each one you are considering. Whilst they will already be used to human intervention and handling you may have to train them out of existing behaviours that you find undesirable. You may find that they have already had their shots and been neutered and descented. If not, some shelters and associations can do this for you at an additional cost or the will be able to put you in touch with a ferret friendly vet who can carry these out for you.
You may also find that the shelter asks you to adopt more than one at a time, particularly if you are considering getting more in the future. Ferrets are very social creatures and form bonds with each other. Sometimes the shelters get pairs or groups of ferrets from the same source and are asked not to split them up. If you really cannot take on more than one then you can ask for singles or you may prefer to go to the pet store or a breeder for your new ferret.