The Kansas City Ferret Hotline and Shelter was founded in March, 1992. The original goal was to provide education for the pet community by placing an informational brochure in veterinary offices, and pet stores. But the ferrets started coming in and nothing has ever stemmed the flow.
Originally the shelter was in the basement of the director's house in Kansas City, Mo. In 1994, a sunroom which was specifically configured for the ferrets with many windows, tile floors, separate sinks, and immediate access to the laundry room was added onto the house. We then could accommodate up to 90. Although this was severely tested in the fall of 2001 by the sudden arrival of 48 confiscated foundlings, we usually maintained a census of between 40 and 50.
Currently our ferrets are permanently or temporarily housed in foster homes throughout the metropolitan area. Most of our adoptables are sheltered at a home in Shawnee Mission, Ks. The capacity there is 20-30 ferrets.
Physical capacity is meaningless without consideration of the energy it takes to properly care for a large number of ferrets.We have a few volunteers whocome regularly to weigh, examine, brush teeth, clip nails,and play with the furkids. This help provides such welcome relief for our shelter mom. However, we need more volunteers to help at the shelter and we need more foster parents.
The Kansas City Ferret Hotline Association is a 501(c)(3), nonprofit organization. Our annual budget runs around $10,000. Our funding comes from adoption fees, tax-deductible contributions, fund raising events, selling ferret products, and selling donated cages and other items. Our major expense is, of course, veterinary fees and supplies, which run about $6,00/year. Were it not for the generous attitude of our favorite vets, we would run a deficit every year. We spend about $400/mo on food and shelter supplies. The foster and shelter parents contribute the costs of housing and utilities as well as several hours each day caring for our charges,
Goals, Services and Activities
Education is our primary goal and we participate in "pet education days" at PetSmart stores and other locations once a month. We have a very active Facebook group page (Kansas City Ferret Hotline Association) where ferret lovers ask for help and share information. We also have a very active Facebook fan page (Kansas City Ferret Hotline in KC MO). Through our website (www.ferrethotline.com), we provide information on ferret health, facts, care, veterinarians, and adoption. We have a dedicated cell phone which is answered 24/7. We receive a dozen or more calls each week from people seeking information about ferrets and/or about adopting ferrets. We maintain contact with other ferret organizations throughout the U. S. and directors and/or staff at some of the other animal shelters in the KC area.
A secondary goal was intended to be the sheltering and adoption to good homes of ferrets in need. In reality this is our primary activity and consumes most of our resources.
Our third goal is the promotion of rational legal regulation regarding European Domestic Ferrets. To this end we testify at city council hearings and lobby individual city and county legislators. We were able to achieve legal status for ferrets in Kansas City, Missouri in 1994 by successfully having them removed from a list of dangerous animals. In 2001, however, we were unable to block city regulations requiring ferret licensing and rabies vaccination. The new ordinance also limits the number of ferrets a household may have. Although we have no objection to havingsixferrets vaccinated against rabies we feel it is unfair that ferrets are the only small animals whose numbers per household are limited or whose licensure is required.