I am honored to announce that the International Ferret Symposium will
present Special Achievement Awards to three people for their outstanding
service to the ferret community. Their contributions have improved the
lot of both ferrets and their owners, and will continue to have a deep,
widespread, and long lasting impact.
The Awards are presented to:
Christopher Bennett, for his creation of the Ferret Health List; Jeanne
Carley, for her work on legalization of ferrets in California; and Troy
Lynn Eckart, for her shelter work, especially in large scale rescues.
CHRISTOPHER BENNETT saw a need for a ferret health site even before he
met Dr. Bruce Williams and they began work on The Ferret Health List.
The group (originally of three but then quickly 4, and soon 6) set about
working to create an ongoing forum which would respect the needs of those
with questions, of vets, and especially of ferrets. It is not an easy
balance and is a constant learning experience.
A huge amount of behind-the-scenes work by Christopher has made the FHL a
pleasant and effective place to be. That the FHL has grown to almost
1,200 members in less that a year says a great deal about its hard-won
Christopher gave birth to the FHL, then he readily invited others in. He
never once has acted as if the site belonged to him rather than to the
group of moderators. He has continued to show how to create and share,
and how to make a huge job appear effortless.
He's a man with a very big heart and that shows in all of his works.
JEANNE CARLEY has worked tirelessly for the legalization and welfare
of ferrets in California. In 1995 she and her father, Floyd Carley,
co-founded Californians for Ferret Legalization (CFL) to fight
California's ban on ferret ownership. Working with the Departments of
Agriculture and of Fish and Game, Jeanne organized and put into place the
rescue system for ferrets confiscated at the state's Agricultural
stations. Previously, ferrets seized at these stations were euthanized.
She has organized petition drives, lobbied state legislators and helped
promote ferret legalization bills. Ferrets are not legal YET in
California, but when they are, it will be in very large part due to her
Jeanne and her father also organized the Ferret Education Foundation, a
501(c)3 non-profit corporation whose goal is to prevent the abuse and
abandonment of domesticated ferrets by providing the public with
educational material on the ferret's true nature and special needs. The
foundation's goal is to prevent the acquisition of a ferret by someone
who cannot meet those needs for the lifetime of the animal.
Jeanne's award-winning Ferret Calendars have brought smiles to the faces
of ferret owners and non-owners alike, highlighting their charm,
friendliness and playfulness.
TROY LYNN ECKART's warmth, gentleness and generousity of spirit has
soothed and healed many anxious ferrets and their owners. She founded the
Ferret Family Services Shelter in 1987 and has directly and indirectly
participated in the rescue of 1000s of ferrets. She has served as the
coordinator for large scale rescues of hundreds of ferrets, including
the Fredonia rescue, and most recently, the 264 ferrets rescued from Utah
last September. These rescues take a massive amount of time, money and
Troy Lynn is also an expert in rabies in ferrets. In the days when
ferrets were routinely euthanized for biting or scratching someone, she
helped collect and disseminate information on rabies-shedding and bite
data for ferrets. She has served as an expert in animal cruelty cases.
Troy Lynn has served as a mentor, friend and consultant for many shelter
operators and ferret owners. Her infinite reserves of compassion and
caring are for all living things.
I ask you to join me and the other members of the International Ferret
Symposium Committee in thanking these people for their contributions.
The awards will be presented at the Ferret 2002 symposium in Las Vegas
next month. Hope to see you there!
[Posted in FML issue 3657]