When properly trained, these little fuzzies make wonderful pets. Their comical antics and inquisitiveness and "innocent" little faces will steal your heart and give you endless hours of entertainment and enjoyment.
My "addiction" started in 1992 with the my first two ferrets. Mishka and Sly. Their owner was moving to California and they couldn't go. It was love at first sight. When I put them down to meet my poor blind cat, Mish immediately jumped her and there I was with a rolling mass of fur - OMG..I thought I'm going to get bit by the ferret. I reached in to break it up and my cat of 15 years bit me! Mish just looked at me with this puzzled look "saying what the heck's her problem - I was just playing". That year I got Bandit (doesn't everyone have a ferret named Bandit?) and DaBear. By the end of the year I was up to 3 (unfortunately I lost Sly to Adrenal in November). In the Spring of 1993, Bandit had my first litter. I ended 1994 at least still in single digits. But in 1995, thanks to the addition of Kodiak, Nicci and kits, I broke through the double digit barrier. In the following years my numbers expanded to over 100, but now in 2022, I have less than 60 breeding ferrets with plans of less in the future.
In 1996 I started showing and am proud to say my "kids" have done very well. SHD's Cheyenne of the Hobbitry, placed Best Opposite of Show in at the Michigan FerretQuest Show in '97, SHD's Apache Ghost Dancer of the Hobbitry won Best of Show in Kit Class at the 1998 Michigan Ferret Renaissance show, SHD's Dragon's Breath won Best Breeder at the Ferret Extravaganza '99 and Best of Show in Breeder at the 1999 Michigan Ferret Renaissance show, SHD's Gisborne's Zen won Best of Show in Breeder Class at the Ferret Extravaganza 2000 and SHD's Zorro of S & J Critters won Best of Show in Alter at the same show. Then in March 2001, SHD's Gisborne's Zen(Gizzie J.) was awarded American Ferret Association's HIGHEST AWARD- FERRET OF THE YEAR for 2000. In Aug. 2001Gizzie J. went AFA Championship Gold Level. SHD's Dallas of The Hobbitry won the Best in Alter at the AFA Spring show in York, PA in March 2002. As of Spring 2002. SHD's Sundowner's Pinot Noir has received several 1st places including 2 at the Baltimore show in 2004 and SHD's Cassis Bordeaux got a Best in Show at the Fandango in May
2005 and a Best Opposite at the AFA Winter Nationals Dec. 2005. QLF's Got Blood of SHD, SHD's Vlad the
Impaler, SHD's Brown Stoat Stout, SHD's McGuigan Black Moscato, ACH's Black Pearl of SHD, SHD's
MerryMaker's Gingerbread Stout, SHD's Sid, SHD's OlivTumma, SHD's Drawn and Portered, FSF's Zarskaya of SHD, SHD's Soopeli Helmi Tytar, SHD's S'Muttinator, JBF's Macallan of SHD, LSD's Sabastiani of SHD, SHD's Ladyburn, SHD's Wanderback, SHD's WolfBurn and SHD's ColeBurn are just some of my kids that have gotten Best of Shows and Best Opposites through the years. Many of my hobs and jills are Gold Level AFA Championship along several others that are soon to become. My kids have placed consistently in championship shows.
In addition to SHD's Gizborne's Zen, who got the very first AFA Ferret of the Year before categories were split into Breeder/Adolocent/Alter/Companion, I have bred 5 ferrets that that received AFA Breeder, Alter or Adolescent Ferret of the Year awards, 9 that received AFA's Specialty Ferret of the Year awards and other ferrets that I have bred ownered by others that have received these awards. Some pictures are on my home and awards pages.
We are also proud to be able to say that we are ADV free! We test regularly.
I breed for several colors...dark sables, black sables, champagnes, black roan mitts, black mitts and points but do get chocolates, roans, albinos and sables. Conformation, disposition, health and genetic diversity are always the foremost concerns. I do have some German, New Zealand, Finnish, Swedish, Hungarian and English mixed in with American bloodlines but most are back several generations now. There is some polecat from the Finnish and German lines but, again back several generations.
Kits are available seasonally..usually late Spring through Summer. I only breed my jills once a year and only for 3 years. At that time, my retired jills and hobs are available for adoption. I have an adoption application on my Kits page for those interested in adopting kits or retirees. As I do usually have a waiting list...filling out an app and submitting is imperative.
I believe my "kids" health and well being comes first. They live in my garage which has been setup specifically for them with cages and play pens for their own safety. I have a camera set up for checking on them and for expectant moms. The garage has heat and air conditioning and when weather is good..the garage door is open so they can breath the country air.
In 1997, I founded Heart of Ohio Ferret Association and Rescue (HOFA Rescue) and was President 1997-2001 and 2014-current. In the beginning, I ran the shelter out of my home. In 2005, we initiated HOFA Rescue Net which was a foster parent network program. Rescues no longer had to deal with a shelter environment...but came into a one -on-one foster parent family situation.
To fund the shelter, HOFA colaborated with another shelter for the first Columbus ferret show...the Columbus Ferret Extravaganza '99' and in 2000. I was show co-coordinator for both shows. Then in 2001, we parted ways with the other shelter and became the FERRET BUCKEYE BASH for which I am show Coordinator. The Ferret Buckeye Bash has became the largest ferret show in the USA with over 30 vendors, an awesome raffle, 60+ exhibitors and attendee's from all over the country.
As anyone that breeds ferrets...as my accountant can attest to.. you sure don't make the big bucks! You do for the love of the ferrets!
As of 2012, I retired from the State of the Ohio-33 years! And in 2016, we moved from our house in Columbus to a much larger place just West of Delaware, Ohio. We had hoped to build on a room just for the ferrets but due to expense and convenience...they took over the 2.5 car garage.
In addition to being a breeder for almost 30 years, I am a licensed American Ferret Association with over 20 years of experience. I have traveled to Japan 13 times to judge at the Japanese Ferret Association's shows and also to Russia once to judge at the 2013 Yekaterinburg Ferret Show.