Motor City Ferrets is a private, no-kill ferret Shelter & Rescue Organization, formally organized in 2000. MCF is registered as a Nonprofit Charity by the State of Michigan, recognized as a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Charity by the Internal Revenue Service and licensed and inspected annually by the Michigan Department of Agriculture. The Organization is a private, nonprofit charity that receives no federal, state or local funding. The Shelter is supported by income from adoption donations, the sale of ferret supplies, fundraising efforts and individual donations. Excess expenses are funded by the personal income of the Directors.
MCF operates in a private home in Hazel Park. The “staff” consists of Shelter Mom Nanci & Shelter Dad Alex, the Directors. A number of volunteers also help with Shelter business throughout the year, but most day to day Shelter business is handled by the Shelter Directors, both of whom also have to work full time to support the Shelter. Yep, this means things are always mighty hectic at Motor City Ferrets! The Shelter can tend to up to 60 ferrets at one time, but the most comfortable level is perhaps 35 or less, depending on how many groups/individuals make up the overall number. Each year 50-100 ferrets are surrendered to the Shelter. As of Spring, 2015, MCF has rescued more than 1000 ferrets. Approximately 78% of our ferrets will find a new home, while the other 22% will spend their final days in the Shelter. Some will unfortunately only be in residence for a short time if they arrive with health issues on board, while others will spend weeks, months or even a year or more, after not being able to find a new home for whatever reason. For more about the history of Motor City Ferrets, head over to our Residents Page!
Each critter in residence at the Shelter is treated as a personal pet. Now, with 40 critters in residence at any given time the Shelter home functions more as a group home than a truly private home situation, but each critter is given the same quality care. The Shelter Directors endeavor, through a careful screening and adoption process, to find loving, permanent homes for all of the ferrets - even those who are older, not social with other ferrets or have health or emotional issues.
The Shelter welcomes folks who are thinking about adopting to visit for a close up view of what having ferrets is really like with Open House events. Check out our Events Calendar for exact dates/times each week, then drop a line for directions. Our address is not published anywhere on the web site; sadly, we have to be careful about giving out our address to make sure we don't end up with "surprises" on our porch. Shocking, 'eh? Sad but true...critters get left in the vicinity of shelters all the time, and of course being left somewhere near a shelter is not a safe situation!
If you're completely new to the world of ferrets, we recommend the book "Ferrets for Dummies," which is a great read for the whole family - and an absolute essential for parent AND child if the child in the family has sparked the ferrety interest! If, after reading the first few chapters, you are still interested in having a pet ferret, the rest of the book then becomes must read to help you become a well informed ferret parent. Remember, ferrets are still less common pets, so it is critically important that all potential ferret owners do much research before bringing a ferret into their life!
Surrendering an animal to a shelter should always be a last resort. There will always be a need for shelters...after all, some owners will have life situations develop unexpectedly that prohibit pet ownership and can't be overcome, but the sad fact is that far too many animals wind up in shelters as an "easy solution." Although Motor City Ferrets is a no-kill Shelter, please click here for important information to consider if you're thinking of surrendering any animal to a shelter.
Motor City Ferrets offers shelter to any ferret in need, regardless of background, age or health. If you need to surrender a ferret, contact the shelter to make arrangements. You'll be asked for as much information as you have about the ferret, with special attention to health issues. You'll also be asked to bring any paperwork you have: pet shop certificate, and proof of vaccinations. You may also bring any good condition ferret supply you are using to tend to your critter. Supplies such as cages, cage accoutrements, grooming products, leashes, carriers, etc. are always welcome.
When you surrender a ferret, you need to bring at least two cups of whatever type of chow the ferret is currently eating. There are many types of ferret food on the market, plus many folks sometimes feed one of the hundreds of kinds of cat foods…add in the occasional ferret eating dog food (incorrect and dangerous!) and the number of foods the ferret could be eating is great! The Shelter can’t possibly keep every type of food on hand, and changing food immediately causes unnecessary stress to the animal. Some middle aged ferrets, who will be nervous enough to find themselves at the Shelter, have tremendous trouble changing food. Having some of the ferret’s current chow arrive with the ferret is very important. Please, respect the animal you are surrendering enough to a) note the brand of chow the ferret is currently eating and b) bring at least a small amount with you.
Motor City Ferrets does not charge a fee to surrender a ferret. However, if your ferret has not been vaccinated for rabies and canine distemper within the past year, a donation would be appreciated. A Surrender Donation is completely voluntary and will not factor into the decision made by the Shelter to accept the ferret. Each surrendered ferret who is not up to date on vaccinations for Rabies and Canine Distemper costs the Shelter $45 immediately. Veterinary costs constitute over 60% of the Shelter's operating budget each year, split evenly between routine costs and serious health care. 95% of new surrenders are not up to date on vaccinations, which increases the Shelter's routine veterinary expenses, so donations of any amount from surrendering owners is appreciated.
The primary goal of Motor City Ferrets is to offer shelter to any ferret in need, and to find a loving, permanent home for all - thus the Shelter always has ferrets available for adoption. The adoption process is designed to be thorough yet uncomplicated, to help find the best homes for all the shelter ferrets.
If you’re interested in adopting, head over to the Adoptables page for more information and to "meet" the critters currently available. Adoption Appointments are typically scheduled on Saturdays; check out the Events Calendar for more information. The adoption process doesn't necessarily take a long time, but due the incredibly hectic schedules of the Shelter Directors, often from the time you send your Adoption Application to the time you visit to adopt will take up to two weeks. Holiday vacation time is a great time to Adopt, but the Shelter is often quite busy with other business, so check the Calendar for current goings-on.
Please keep in mind the fact that Motor City Ferrets is a private rescue. The adoption process is designed to be as personal as possible, without being intrusive into your private life. The Shelter Directors are tasked with carefully screening potential adopters, to ensure each adopted ferret will be properly cared for. The Shelter follows up on all adopted ferrets for the rest of their lives. The follow up is designed to be easy and non-intrusive. Learning more about the rest of the ferret's life is very important, as the folks at the Shelter only get to know the critter for a relatively short period of time. Health and behavior information is collected and recorded, to hopefully help the greater ferret community learn from the Shelter population. As of the end of 2014 the Shelter had rescued over 1000 ferrets, which is quite a potential database of information!
Shelters are great places to find the ferret supplies you need at reduced cost, plus you’ll be helping some homeless ferrets at the same time! Motor City Ferrets always has a variety of supplies available, from cages and cage necessities to treats & toys, supplements, bedding, books, and special items you can't find anywhere else! Visit Miss Sophie's Weezily Wares!
Motor City Ferrets appreciates your donations of new or used ferret supplies of any sort - and open bottles/tubes are just fine! :) If you have a cage you can’t transport, just drop a line to the Shelter and a volunteer pickup may be able to be arranged. Cash donations are the most useful, as the primary expenses of the shelter need cash money! Also, the Shelter Directors are extremely thrifty and buy in bulk, to help every dollar stretch to it's max. To help make sure your dollars go as far as possible, below is the Shelter's current wish list of supplies that are always needed. If you would like to donate goods, your dollars will be maximized if you stick with surplus goods you already have, those you can pick up on your next trip to Costco, or through a direct donation to Shelter's veterinarian.
And at right is an easy way to help the shelter: do your online shopping through iGive and a percentage of your purchase is donated to our rescue! iGive works with many popular online merchants, is easy to use and absolutely free! Click on the banner to join!
Ink Cartridges: our
printer uses HP 950 black & 951 (separate colors) and the XL
cartridges are the best value
Motor City Ferrets operates in a small home in Hazel Park. Volunteer help is appreciated, but help with the regular daily routine is sometimes difficult to arrange due to the busy schedules of the Shelter Directors. The Shelter does welcome folks to come by and simply play with the crew; after all, with the humans so busy the critters always need more attention! Other ways to help:
Groom: Experienced ferret parents are welcome for bi-monthly grooming visits. 60-100 ears need cleaning and 160-200 paws need their nails clipped. Volunteer for grooming visits and you too can have all your jeans stained with Ferretone!
Transport: Occasionally the Shelter needs help with transporting critters and/or supplies. We're located in Hazel Park and we end up with transport needs from all over southeast Michigan at some point during the year - either for critters, supplies/donations or both. If you would be available for transport help, drop a line to the Shelter with your home city, how far you can travel, do you have an extra carrier or two, what type of vehicle you have, etc. and the Shelter will call on you if a transport need arises that fits with your schedule.
Advertise: Another way folks are able to volunteer to help is by sharing information about Motor City Ferrets on social media! Share our Facebook Group with your Facebook friends. Tweet our website address to your followers. Anything and everything helps!