Ferret Shelter Giving Tree
The Ferret Giving Tree was started in 1998 by Kristine. The goal was to give ferrets who were in shelters a chance for some special Christmas gifts as well as help the shelter operators with needed funds and supplies. In the first year there were 380 ferrets on the Tree.
In 2002 Kris started up the ADV Giving Tree specifically focusing on proving ferrets who had been diagnosed with ADV with a special Christmas. The ADV tree ran up until 2005 when Kris took over operation of the Shelter Giving Tree. Each year the tree became more and more popular. By 2007 there were 825 ferrets on the tree and it ran well into January 2008. In 2008, Kris, Melanee, Lynn, Kelly, Eir and Kathy were manually coding the pages right up to Christmas Eve.
In 2009 Lynn stepped forward and wrote the code needed to automate most of the tree functions in order to relieve the load on the volunteers. That year, the overall management of the tree was taken over by Melanee with Kris and Lynn assisting when needed. The changes allowed for a record 805 ferrets on the tree. Since then, Lynn has been working with Kris and Melanee to build in more and more features to simplify the management of the tree.
In early October each year, the tree is opened to allow the Shelters to register and post a selection of their ferrets on the tree. Each shelter can post details about their operation as well as their vet information. Each ferret has a bio, a wish list and a photo posted on the tree. Each tree page holds 15 ferrets and in 2011, there were 64 trees with a total of 952 ferrets. The biggest requests shelters ask for is help with vet bills, food, and litter. For the ferrets, the most popular requests are for toys, treats, and hammocks.
In 2012 a graduated limit was introduced where shelters with large numbers of ferrets could post more ferrets than smaller shelters. In that year there were 804 ferrets posted on the tree and all of them had confirmed Santas by December 16.In 2013 the graduated limit was modified. In that year there were 731 ferrets posted on the tree and all of them had confirmed Santas by December 15.
Starting in early November the tree is opened to allow Santas to pick ferrets from the tree. As soon as a Santa is confirmed, the ferret photo on the tree is replaced with a Santa and their bio is automatically updated to let everyone know they've been chosen. For those ferrets who do not make it through the season due to age or illness, their photo is replaced with a picture of a rainbow - a universal symbol among ferret owners/caregivers that they have crossed over the rainbow bridge.
If you have any additional questions, feel free to Contact Us.