Monthly Newsletter of the
WELCOME NEW OFFICERS!
Welcome to our new officers and officers in changed positions. The new organizational structure is as follows:
President/Legalization: Debra Thomason
Vice President/Public Relations: Linda Davis
Secretary: Larry Fewell
Treasurer/Information Coordinator: Michael Runyon
Show Coordinator/Merchandising: Chris Snoberger
Membership: Matthew Stevens
Web Page Coordinator: Nathan Viles
Online Mailing List Coordinator: David Finster
Publications: Karen Farrow
We still need volunteers for the show committee, legalization committee, shelter relations, vet relations, or anywhere else you think you can lend a hand. We appreciate your support!
1998 CALENDAR OF EVENTS
July 12: Meeting - Aleutians Disease
August 9: Meeting - Holistic Medicine (? - proposed topic)
September 6: Meeting - Microtagging (? - proposed topic)
September 11-13: Dallas Home Improvement Show
September 26 (Saturday): FERRET OLYMPICS
October 10: Animal Rescue League Adopt-A-Thon
Fall, TBA: Ferret Shelter Garage Sale Fundraiser
November 8: Meeting - Holiday Safety (? - proposed topic)
December 13: Holiday Party
FERRET OF THE MONTH COVER PHOTO
Weezer adopts his normal sleeping pose (except usually he sticks his tongue out!). Weezer owns FLC-TX member Mia Jelinek, and must sleep in his mom's bed, not his own. Would you like your ferret to be featured as a cover photo? Send photographs, and with a SASE, they will be returned. Be sure to identify the ferret, and mark the photo with your name and address.
MAY MEETING: SHOW STANDARDS
In preparation for our May show in 1999, club members reviewed various show standards and came up with suggestions and agendas for our own show. One goal is to make sure that this show does not conflict with the fun of the fall Ferret Olympics. The spring show will be more education oriented. Club members agreed that we did not want the spring show to be a "beauty contest" but rather focus on standards of good health, maintenance, care, and knowledge of owners. We tentatively plan for the May show to be the Saturday before Memorial Day Weekend each year.
One major goal of this show is to provide educational seminars. We are targeting this portion of the show to owners, vet-techs, pet store personnel, humane society volunteers, and animal control employees. We hope to offer continuing education credits for these seminars. The plan is to have a number of mini-sessions (15 minutes or so) running throughout the day, and repeated several times so people have an opportunity to be educated on a flexible time frame in mini "sound bytes." The following seminars will be offered:
Grooming: nail trimming, ear cleaning, teeth cleaning/brushing, bathing tips.
Parasites: safety from fleas, ticks, heartworms, mites
Vaccinations: rabies/distemper, what NOT to give, what to do if there is a reaction.
Ferret Proofing: household tips and common dangers.
Nutrition: How to read a food label
Handling and Training: litterboxes, biting, etc.
Shelters: How they operate and work with other entities.
Legalization: Status, current laws
First Aid: heatstroke, injuries, etc.
History and Behavior: domestication, common behaviors
Epizootic Catarrhal Enteritis (ECE)
We have elected not to use the multitude of specialty color classes used by many other shows. Instead, we are proposing the following classes:
For owners of rescue ferrets who are unsure of the exact age of their ferret, a judge, show steward, or veterinarian should be able to make a determination according to tooth coloration and wear.
Kits: any ferret age 1 year or less. Kits must be older than 16 weeks to have had their full series of distemper shots and one rabies shot.
Adults: ferrets ages 1-4.
Seniors: ferrets ages 5 or older.
Sables: any variety of sable ferret (champagne, chocolate, light, dark, medium, etc.)
Nonsables: any ferret other than a sable: albino, silver, dark-eyed or marked white, true cinnamon, etc.
Special Markings: any ferret (either sable or nonsable, and can also compete in those color classes as well) with special fur markings such as blazes, mitts, bibs, spots, stripes, etc.
Handicapped class: any ferret (who can also compete in the above classes) who has an obvious physical handicap that can be visually assessed, such as missing body parts, baldness. Deaf and blind ferrets will not fit this category, but the judge MUST be informed of deafness so personality and responsiveness can be appropriately assessed.
Ferrets will be judged and scored ONE TIME, regardless of the number of classes entered. What will change is the weighting of the scores for each class, which will be handled by computer. For example, in the special markings class, the marking quality will have a very heavy weight.
A vet check must occur first. Owners must show proof of vaccinations which are current: no longer than 12 months ago, and no sooner than 14 days ago. Ferrets must have the IMRAB-3 rabies vaccine, and distemper vaccination with either Fervac-D or Galaxy-D.
Judging will occur on an "assembly line" basis at a number of different tables. After a vet check, handlers can wait in line at whatever judging table is available. When their score card is completely filled out, the card will go to the computer entry table for keypunching and scoring. When all contestants have been entered, winners can be announced. Judging stations will be as follows: (1) overall health (vet check) (2) gender (ask the owner!), conformation, weights, and measures, (3) personality and responsiveness, along with owner interview, (4) skin and fur (markings as well), (5) grooming (toenails, teeth, ears).
Ferret Jeopardy: A quiz to test owner knowledge of ferrets.
Costume Contest: The only event duplicated in the Ferret Olympics.
Heaviest Male and Lightest Female: this contest is being moved from the Ferret Olympics.
Which Ferret is Yours? Blindfolded owners will have to pick their ferret from a grouping of several.
Longest Tail: Ferret with the longest tail-to-body ratio
Blackest Nose: ferret with the darkest nose
There are likely to be ferrets at the event that have and have not been exposed to ECE. Owners and handlers are encouraged not to touch other ferrets. Judges will wear latex gloves, changed between each ferret (or group of ferrets from the same household). Tables will be wiped down with disinfectant between each ferret or ferret grouping. There will be separate cage areas for ECE and non-ECE ferrets.
Proposed fees for each class or event entered are as follows:
Preregistration up to one week before the event: $4 per ferret per contest ($2 for FLC-TX members). Late registration at the show: $8 per ferret per contest ($4 for FLC-TX members). Gate entry will be FREE for handlers, volunteers, and any personnel in training who can show proof of employment or volunteer status at an animal-related concern. General admission will be $2 for adults and $1 for children.
For each class/ring, championship ribbons will be awarded to the top three males and females in each category. For other contests, ribbons will be awarded to the top three places. A "best of show" trophy will be awarded to the top-scoring ferret. Ribbons will be awarded to ALL entrants in the costume contest. In case of a tie, all ferrets must be brought back simultaneously to the judges for a final decision.
We would like to encourage vendors to rent a table for $25, sponsor events, or place advertisements in the show programs. Club member shelters get free tables. We hope to provide refreshments as well.
VOLUNTEERS! We will need a huge number of volunteers to run judging tables, register entrants, monitor contests, etc.
NEW PRODUCT REVIEWS
Citra-Fresh Bedding/Litter: This product is an all-natural citrus litter and bedding derived from orange peels. Kathy Lucy tested the product and was very pleased with the results. The litter did a great job of absorbing both moisture and odors. Cleanup was easy, because the bottom of the litterpan stayed dry. The product smells great! Citra-Fresh is made by Blossom Products Company, 6900 E. Camelback Rd. #700, Scottsdale, AZ 85251. You can contact the company at (602) 947-7677, fax them at (602) 945-5434, or email at email@example.com, or check out the web page at www.citrafresh.com. A case of 2, 4-lb 7 qt. bags is $11.95. A case of 5 8 lb 14 quart bags is $49.95. The company accepts credit cards. Blossom Products also makes all-natural shampoos and odor-destroying candles.
Kellogg's Daily Diet Ferret: Kellogg's (NOT the cereal company, but the avian and animal feed company) will be introducing a new ferret food this month. Erika Matulich tested the product and had extensive conversations with nutritionist John Ulrich and Kellogg's veterinarian Dr. Inga Marty. The product has a great guaranteed analysis: 34% protein, 20% fat, and 3% fiber. The primary protein source is turkey, and secondary is fish sources. The product looks similar to a pelleted food, but is not. It is extruded, which gives higher nutrition concentrations, but is shaped like a cylinder. Testers report that this shape is less likely to be wasted by the ferret. The food was developed specifically for ferrets rather than being a derivative of an existing cat or mink chow. Dr. Marty has been running metabolism, palatability, and growth tests, and is very pleased with the results. Erika reports that her ferrets had no problem accepting the food. Furthermore, there is just enough fish protein to make a complete amino acid chain, but not so much as to make the food smell bad! The product will be available next month.
The city of Garland, Texas (Dallas/Fort Worth) has finally updated their website to reflect the city council's February 17 vote to adopt a revamped animal code that makes it legal to own a ferret in that city. The previous code specifically prohibited ferrets. There are some requirements to be met, primarily rabies vaccination, registration, and sterilization, along with a home inspection and annual permit fee. The permit is, however, an address permit allowing any number of ferrets at the specified address. A small step forward in the patchwork of Texas legalization efforts.
Statewide, the status of quarantining ferrets involved in potential rabies exposure incidents is still in flux. Existing rules indicate a 30-day quarantine. Since the compendium came out, a proposal to include ferrets along with dogs and cats for a 10-day quarantine has been introduced. It has not yet been adopted. The earliest possible date for adoption is in mid-June. To review the proposal, see:
For the existing text, see: http://lamb.sos.state.tx.us/tac/25/I/169/index.html
Please note that James H. Wright has informed me of their intent to delete the definition of "shelter" and its use from the proposal due to the comments they received against its inclusion. I spoke against the inclusion of shelters as well as I felt that the definition would have included anyone who rescues, fosters, or shelters animals. It was broad enough and placed strict enough requirements that few if any private individuals would have been able to participate in rescuing without risking a violation of these rules. Texas code also did not give that kind of broad authority to the Department of Health. The authority for these rules only really allowed for definition of rabies quarantine facilities. Again, it will be at least mid-June before any final rules could be adopted.