If you’re visiting the Houseman home, you might want to watch your bags. And your jacket. And your purse. And your pant legs.
Moments after a visitor arrived, the furry horde was out and investigating, eyeing the newcomer with bright eyes and seemingly trying to decide just how interesting this could be.
Maggie Houseman watched them with a smile.
“They’re constant amusement,” she said of the business of ferrets that shares her home. “It’s like having permanent, happy 2-year-olds in the house.
“They’re completely and utterly a riot. ... And you never know what’s coming next with them.”
Houseman, of the City of Tonawanda, along with her husband Jamie Houseman, is the founder of Ferretpallozza, a group seeking to educate people about ferrets as pets and provide a shelter for critters in need of good homes.
The Housemans, who do some rescue work, also hope to open a full ferret sanctuary, but in the meantime, Ferretpallozza’s Facebook page has created a community of ferret owners, now topping 100, from the Buffalo and Tonawanda area and beyond. Members share stories, photos and memorials, seek advice, and occasionally connect to find foster homes for ferrets in need.
The network banded together in mid-March to find the home of a little lost ferret discovered wandering in Tonawanda, Maggie Houseman said. Barney (known as Rosco during his short stay) was found on William Street by a wildlife rehabilitator who contacted Houseman. After she posted photos of him to Ferretpallozza and other Facebook pages including Ferrets Dook and the America Ferret Association page, the word spread ... and Barney was claimed within three days by his grateful family.
The group has also harnessed the power of social media to find foster homes for several other ferrets and aid rescue attempts for some critters with special needs.