The Ferret Shelters Directory is the only site created BY and FOR ferret shelters. That’s why it’s named Ferret Shelters Directory. The aim is to make your work easier and give potential users better resources to find you while helping to better protect ferrets. We also want to provide the means for shelters and people who rescue domestic ferrets to share information and resources more effectively.
Who’s behind this?
The Ferret Association of Connecticut, Inc. (FACT) and Support Our Shelters (SOS) both 501(c) 3 charitable organizations are the key collaborators and sponsors of this initiative. SOS has maintained a ferret shelter list website as part of our mission to support shelters. The Ferret Shelters Directory will replace this list, which has to be managed and kept up to date manually. The Directory is a fresh look at organizing information for use by SOS, the public, and shelters. FACT has arranged for the funding; developed, and implemented the site.
Another collaborator is the Ferret Emergency, Rescue, Response & Evacuation Team. F.E.R.R.E.T. will also be using the database to facilitate their mission to provide ferret emergency services during natural or man-made disasters. Dianna Desrochers, President, The Educated Ferret Association, Inc., Springfield, Massachusetts will be providing support to the directory on an ongoing basis along with FACT. We are grateful for a grant from the Emma Barnsley Foundation for initial project funding.
Why another Directory?
Existing directories are primarily lists, often incomplete, out of date, and require shelters submit information through the site owner. They do not include mainstream humane organizations, animal control facilities, foster-based networks, even veterinarians or pet stores that place ferrets. More and more, spcas and animal control facilities care for ferrets. Having them registered can offer the public additional resources for adoption and surrender, alleviating the burden on ferret-only shelters. It will identify nearby places that accept ferrets, allowing for cooperation for referrals or in case of emergencies or large scale rescues.
Other listing sites lack details unique to many ferret shelters, such as if a shelter is home-based. Directories such as Petfinder only allow 501(c)3 non-profits to register. There may not be a way to link to your own websites or Social Media pages. Most were built on older technology and are inflexible. The Ferret Shelters Directory contains much more detailed information. It can lead donors, volunteers, and hopefully more adopters to your shelter.
What else is different?
The biggest difference from most current sites is the search function. It can be searched by many, or even multiple specs within a category, such as ferret-only shelters that provide boarding services or that sell ferret products. These are distinguishing characteristics that we hope can help drive revenue to your shelter.
People can message your shelter directly from their page on the Directory without exposing your email address – particularly valuable for small, private shelters. Those rescuers who do not want to be published can maintain complete confidentiality and simply answer the question “DO NOT PUBLISH” in the affirmative. Your listing will NOT be published in the public directory and your shelter information will be kept confidential. Your data will, however, be passed to Support Our Shelters and F.E.R.R.E.T. in order to maintain access to potential finanical or disaster support; and maintain communications and connections within the ferret sheltering community.
For small shelters who cannot afford one, the directory page can function as your own mini-website. There is plenty of space in the text area to explain who you are, your policies, and how you operate. Include links to your site if you do have a separate site. But also explain yourself here. People are impatient! . There is a place for links to your adoptable ferrets pages (on Petfinder or elsewhere); and sales sites like eBay, Etsy or webstore pages which, of necessity change frequently. However, those lines won’t show up “empty” if your shelter doesn’t have them, they simply don’t show up on the Directory page. Shelters are encouraged to include their logo and photo’s to personalize your listing. (See the Ferret Association of CT listing for some ideas).
The Shop a Ferret Rescue functionality is still in its infancy. We expect it to mature with further capabilities over time. As so many shelters make or resell items to support their work, allowing you link to your own outlets we expect to become a valuable feature over time – particularly when it comes time for the annual Ferret Giving Tree. With mutual linking to the Giving Tree, shoppers can search the Shelters Directory to find shelters that make bedding, toys, or other items they need to fill their selected ferret’s stocking – helping two shelters with one gift.
Another feature that we expect to grow with everyone’s assistance is the Shelter Resource list. As tips and suggestions for it accumulate and the list expands it will become password protected and accessible by registered shelters only. Thus we expect the site will become more useful and meaningful for ferret shelters everywhere.
Also included on the Directory site are detailed tips and suggestions aimed at the public on how to research, evaluate, and better understand how a shelter operates.
Another “behind the scenes” capability allows for private email alerts to all shelter registrants. This will be used for information about any health, emergency information; or large scale rescues needing support; as well as tips to help improve your listing.
What are Events about?
Shelters can list any upcoming events involving ferrets as easily as they have added their shelters.
What does it cost?
The Ferret Shelters Directory is free for shelters and visitors. Once a listing is approved by an administrator (to avoid spam listings), the shelter maintains access to the listing to keep it up-to-date. Shelters are automatically reminded to review and update their listing every 6 months. If you do not review and renew, the listing will be “unpublished” until you “renew” it. This will maintain the Directory’s integrity and ensure listings are always up to date.