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Friendly ferret

Manchester sanitation workers save ferret from trash barrel

New Hampshire Union Leader

May 21. 2013 9:03PM
Emily Duval of the Manchester Animal Shelter holds a male ferret that was found in a trash barrel on Cartier Street in Manchester. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)

MANCHESTER — A ferret ate his fill and was resting comfortably at the Manchester Animal Shelter on Tuesday, after sanitation workers discovered it in a trash barrel on the West Side during their morning rounds.

The male critter is 3 to 4 years old, which is about middle age for a ferret, said Shelley Greenglass, manager of the shelter.

“He looks in remarkably good shape, but when he did come in he was scrounging down his food,” said Jamin Brooks, veterinary technician at the shelter.

The animal was discovered about 10 a.m. at the trash barrel for 279 Cartier St., the address of Joseph House, a 22-bed Catholic retreat center associated with St. Marie Parish. Vivian White, the hospitality director at Joseph House, said she had no idea where the ferret came from.

“This is a very strange neighborhood. God only knows how it got in there,” White said.

“Someone put it in there. There was no way it got there by itself,” said Scott Gordon, the sanitation worker who first saw the ferret. “It was just laying there. It didn’t seem mean.”

He kept the lid open, called the police, and waited for the animal control officer to show up.

Animal control officers believe the ferret climbed into the trash container, which contained compost material, said police Lt. Maureen Tessier. But she said authorities can’t rule out that it was dumped.

State law makes it a misdemeanor to abandon an animal without proper shelter or care.

“At this point, the origin of the critter is unknown. It will be hard to trace unless someone comes forward,” Tessier said.

White said the container has no holes, and was only half full when she put it out.

Greenglass said she doubts a ferret could crawl into a trash container. The hard plastic composition of a city trash barrel makes it difficult for any animal to manipulate, she said.

She said it could have been dumped, or it could have crawled into an item that was then discarded.

“Maybe he just got away from somebody. I’m not sure,” Greenglass said. She said the shelter is merely housing the animal at this point. If it gets approval from the animal control officer, it will put the animal up for adoption.

Brooks said the shelter handless about six to eight abandoned ferrets a year. A few are surrendered by owners but most are found outside alone.

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