Once in a while a ferret rescue story comes along that breaks your heart and makes rescuing ferrets so worthwhile and rewarding for all of the hard work.
Each ferret that comes to the North Pennine Ferret Welfare can tell you a story, from being lost down a rabbit hole or wandering out of the garden due to sheer neglect and lack of human thought.
Here is the story of Nelson which has moved many people from all over the world.
On 14 March 2011, the North Pennine Ferret Welfare received a telephone call from a gentleman, asking if we could assist with a ferret that was in a particularly poor state. We had been involved with many sad cases in the past and so another one would not be a problem.
The gentleman who made the initial telephone call was not responsible for Nelson's injuries!
Off we went in the ferret mobile with carry box, to collect our new charge.
When we met the gentleman, we were not prepared for what we were about to see. We were absolutely horrified by the injuries caused to this poor little lad and were reduced to tears instantly.
The sandy hob ferret had, what initially looked like tar under his chin and over his eyelid.
He was bruised from his back legs to his chin.
His toes on his front paws had been dislocated.
His teeth had been snapped with pliers.
(Apparently some people do this to ferrets when using them for hunting rabbits so they do not kill down the rabbit hole).
His testicles had been kicked so hard they had gone retreated into his little body.
Some of his injuries were from previous beatings and other injuries were more recent!
The vet debated whether to put this little boy to sleep because of his horrific injuries, but decided to give him a chance because he was such a lovely, trusting, chatty, happy little boy.
Because of his eye injury, we decided to call our new little boy 'Nelson'.
Nelson was given anti inflammatory injections, pain killing injections and a course of antibiotics.
We were instructed to bathe Nelson's eye and chin in warm water to try to dislodge the tar and asked to return to the Veterinary Practice on Wednesday 16 March.
Nelson took his medication without any problem and enjoyed his soup and new surroundings!
We tried to clean the area around his eye and chin only to find it was a scab which had covered his raw skin. We decided to leave it and keep it clean until his next visit to see the vet.
At Nelson's appointment on Wednesday 16 March the vet decided to sedate Nelson the following morning to clean up his eye and remove his testicles.
Unfortunately it became apparent that the scab over Nelson's eyelid was actually his eye which had to be removed. The eyelid was not stitched because of the possibility of infection and we brought him home to recover from his operation.
Nelson's first check up following his operation was on Sunday 20 March. Nelson was improving each day and the bruising was starting to fade. His eye was healing also and overall the vet was satisfied with Nelson's progress.
During the next few days we monitored Nelson closely and noticed his toes had started to swell, although they didn't seem to be causing a problem to him. I rang the vet and mentioned it but he was already on antibiotics and he was not in any pain, so we decided to leave him until his following check up which had been arranged for Sunday 27 March.
(This little soldier had already endured a lot!)
Nelson is doing fine; he is a very vocal little soldier and has the courage of ten good men.
Nelson's final visit to see the vet was on Sunday 27 March 2011 when he was discharged.
Nelson has touched so many hearts during the last two weeks and will be staying in the care of Team Crusher and North Pennine Ferret Welfare forever.
He will be introduced to Lucy Locket and Mittens over the next few days, so he will have playmates.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to all of the staff at Wilson's Veterinary Practice, Bishop Auckland, County Durham, and to all of our wonderful friends who have helped and supported us throughout this journey.
If you have any questions or require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact Barrie on:
Telephone 01207 237458 or mobile 07935 931473