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Prineville home to C.O.’s only ferret shelter

Woman focuses on finding families for ferrets

PRINEVILLE, Ore. (KTVZ) -- There’s only one animal shelter in Central Oregon focused on re-homing ferrets, and it's located in Prineville. The Oregon Ferret Shelter is a no-kill shelter, meaning no ferrets are euthanized due to lack of room. 

For husband and wife team Christine and David Mathis, taking care of ferrets became an unexpected passion. NewsChannel 21 spoke with owner Christine Mathis on Tuesday.

He says they took over the shelter just over a decade ago after Darla Murphy, the founder of the shelter and the president of the Oregon Ferret Association in Portland, passed away.

In 2008, they say, the shelter took in about 468 ferrets. Currently, they house about 65 in their Prineville shelter. 

“My son brought home the first ferret in 1982, and we told him he could have it as long as he raised the money for it,” Mathis says. “The only problem is, I fell in love. He came home one day from school and found out that I had actually played with his ferret, and he was so upset with me.”

Mathis says nearly half of the ferrets currently at the shelter are their own pets and are not up for adoption.

“They have the right home,” Mathis says as she cradles one of the ferrets and gives it a kiss. “It might be their last home, but they can’t go to somebody that can’t afford to take care of them, especially infants.”

The goal of the Oregon Ferret Shelter is to care for all homeless ferrets until a new, permanent and loving home is found.

People interested in more information about the ferret shelter can visit

Article Topic Follows: Prineville
animal rescue
animal shelter

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Rhea Panela

Rhea Panela is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Rhea here.


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