• Humane society seeks homes for ferrets
    By Gordon Dritschilo
    Staff Writer | March 14,2013
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    Vyto Starinskas / Staff Photo

    Jessica Danyow, director of operations at the Rutland County Humane Society, holds ferrets, Julia, Valentino and J.R. on Wednesday.
    The Rutland County Humane Society is trying to ferret out homes for its newest guests.

    Seven ferrets and seven hamsters have recently arrived at the Humane Society, according to executive director Gretchen Goodman.

    The society has also taken in seven Guinea pigs, but Goodman says those are still too small to adopt.

    Last year, the Humane Society handled 889 cats, 330 dogs and 53 other animals, according to Goodman. So, while ferrets and hamsters showing up there is not uncommon, Goodman said they don’t typically get this many at once.

    “Our (dog and cat) population is lower than it usually is,” Goodman said Wednesday. “For some reason, the smalls have taken over.”

    The hamsters and Guinea pigs each arrived as one litter, but Goodman said the ferrets came from two different homes, one that was “downsizing” and another where the owner had to move unexpectedly.

    “The thing with hamsters is they can start breeding very young,” she said. “They need to be separated — not just for the breeding reasons. Hamsters, except for dwarf hamsters, they don’t get along.”

    Goodman said hamsters live two to three years.

    “They are not great for a toddler because they can’t be handled,” she said. Guinea pigs can.

    Guinea pigs live about five years and eat a diet of fruits and leafy green vegetables.

    “Guinea pigs are a really good pet for children because they can be handled,” Goodman said. “They’re squeakers — they make noise. They’re very social. ... A Guinea pig can really be a great first pet for a kid. They can really be cute. As soon as you open the fridge, they start whistling for their food.”

    Ferrets live five to eight years and eat a high-protien diet. Goodman said they are good for an apartment where a dog or a cat might not be allowed.

    “Ferrets are related to weasels,” she said. “They’re smart, very curious and very active. ... They’re into climbing and they like to hide. You’ll need to have your house ferret-proofed.”

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