A local ferret had quite an adventure this week after escaping her carrier and roaming downtown Victoria before some kindhearted passersby scooped her up and reunited her with her owner.
At about 9 p.m. on Monday (Jan. 25), Taylor Jarvis and her boyfriend were walking down Fisgard Street when they came across Saphira, a four-month-old ferret that found her way out of her carrying case and was wandering around the street alone, said Lesli Steeves, a Reuniting Owners with Animals Missing (ROAM) administrator and dispatcher. They picked her up and took her back to their apartment so she’d be safe while they contacted ROAM a south Island non-profit that uses Facebook to get missing pets home.
Steeves took the call about the anxious little white ferret with a grey tail and pink nose found exploring downtown. She immediately began searching for a volunteer who could take the critter for the night. After an unsuccessful attempt to reach the Vancouver Island Ferret Education and Rescue Team (VIFERT), she contacted the owner of Creatures Pet Store on Blanshard Street who agreed to take Saphira.
A short time later VIFERT staff called to let Steeves know that ferrets, like mink, can be COVID-19 carriers so whoever took Saphira in needed to be careful. Eventually, it was decided that she should go to a VIFERT volunteer’s home and spend the night in quarantine.
A photo of Saphira was shared on ROAM’s Facebook page and it wasn’t long before her owner’s friend saw it and passed along the message.
As it turns out, Saphira was a well-loved – albeit “cheeky as hell” – little escape artist and her owners were looking for her frantically.
The owner called ROAM the following afternoon and, after she provided proof of ownership, the VIFERT volunteer dropped Saphira off.
Steeves is grateful to everyone who stepped in because “not everyone can take in a ferret at 11 p.m..”
Cheryl Delling, founder of VIFERT, said ferrets like to hide, love attention and are very curious.
“They’re really unique animals but they take a lot of work,” she said. New owners are advised to ferret-proof their home and keep their pet on a leash while outdoors.