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Ferret Association of Connecticut, Inc.: Grant Report

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

Microchips and reader. We were able to obtain a wonderfully inexpensive universal reader for only $100, plus $30 for a case. The chips themselves are only $3.99 each, including the registration and free shipping. We pay $20/implant to a certified veterinary technician to administer the microchips.

We have been able to "get with the times" and have our adoptable animals microchipped! The company we chose, Nanochip, offers a "mini-chip" easily injected by a vet tech. Since ferrets are so small, it is unnecessary to anesthetize before injection with these smaller chips. Their program offers a permanent "secondary" registration to the shelter. So even if the adopter chooses not to purchase primary registration, the animal is always traceable to us. Knowing that if one of our adoptees is lost or surrendered to another shelter, we will be informed is very reassuring. What we didn't realize is that it's also a terrific marketing tool. By promoting our ferrets as microchipped as well as having all their vaccinations, we are able to clearly demonstrate the value of adopting. Combined, shots and chip would cost an owner $150-250 at a vet's office. Being able to tell people that, sure, they can buy a baby in a store for $150 but they'll pay an EXTRA $200 for those services makes adopting a ferret a bargain as well as a great way to help animals! Subsequently, we decided to raise our adoption fees to a base of $100, which is STILL a bargain compared to getting their pet anywhere else, including from "free" ads on places like Craigslist. We've seen little pushback; in fact, people seem impressed and appreciative that we make the extra effort for their new pet's security and safety.

How many pets did this grant help?

Initally, it will chip 30 animals. Since this summer, we have already chipped 24 ferrets.

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

Ralph and Rocket are one pair of ferrets micochipped thanks to the Petfinder Foundation grant. Now, neither of them might agree with this assessment, as even small microchips being implanted hurt some and THEY’D be just as happy without them. However, for us humans, it’s really helped — Ralph and Rocket are nearly identical and if we’re ever unsure which is which, we can just scan them! We learned this trick from the MSPCA — like us, they keep all their ferrets loose together and they told us that having everyone chipped ensures they are adopting out the right animal. We also used this trick last week when an adopter was interested in a little girl with a lookalike in the shelter. (Some ferrets look a LOT alike and even shelter directors can make mistakes!) Meet Ralph and Rocket: