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Posted on Tue, Feb 28, 2012 : 5:43 p.m.

Little lost ferret: Ann Arbor woman hopes to find pet's owner

By Cindy Heflin


Claire Zepeda and her husband have nicknamed the ferret who came to their door Francis.

Photo courtesy of Claire Zepeda

When Claire Zepeda’s dog started making a ruckus Friday night, she figured there was a raccoon or perhaps a skunk outside her door.

What she found instead was an inquisitive white ferret.

“I flipped on the light and here’s this little guy with his paws against the window,” she said.

Zepeda called a friend in Ohio who raises ferrets to find out what to feed it. She said it's obviously been someone's pet.

She’s taking care of the little creature since Friday but hopes she’ll be able to reunite the ferret she nicknamed Francis with her (she and her husband have deduced Francis is a girl) rightful owner soon.

Zepeda said she’s been keeping Francis in a cage to protect her from her dog but thinks the ferret would be much happier if she could roam about.

She’s posted fliers around her neighborhood in the area of Eisenhower Boulevard and Stone School Road hoping to find the ferret’s owner. She also posted several images on her Facebook page. Zepeda hopes the owner will call her at 734-973-6665.

“She’s a delightful thing,” Zepeda said. “I just don’t want to have to take her to the Humane Society.”



Wed, Mar 7, 2012 : 11:22 a.m.

OMG! Please contact me! I have been in contact with Motor City Ferret and Rochester Hills Humane Society and I have been told that someone might have picked Cider up and could be anywhere. I have pictures and vet records to prove this is Cider. Cider just lost Mocha, he had cancer and passed away a few weeks ago and has been looking for him. Cider is my only ferret, now and is more than a pet to me. I will call as soon as I can, it is 6 am right now and I just saw this via Facebook For the love of louie lost pets in Mipage.


Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 3:26 p.m.

Ferrets can make wonderful pets! The are curious, funny, cuddly and affectionate. If I didn't have a dog I would love to adopt her, if her owner was not located. Unfortunately, my dog would probably think she was a squeaky toy.

kt rix

Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 5:29 p.m.

Same with my cats. i would LOVE to have a ferret, but my house is not suitable for one right now.

Dorothy Strotkamp

Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 2:12 p.m.

The Ann Arbor Humane Society or Huron Valley is a wonderful place to take any animal needing help. They will take great care of Frances and will try to find owner or will find her a forever home. On occasion they have had ferrets and have been anle to rehomee them.

Elaine F. Owsley

Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 1:41 p.m.

That's really sweet. I don't know how it's related to the next new item, but I'm glad you found a spot for it and I agree, let the Humane Society know it is at your place, in case the owners are checking with them. The feminine spelling is actually Frances with an e - I know because that's my middle name. Good luck with your hunt.


Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 6:07 a.m.

@obviouscomment wow its people like you that shouldnt own any animals at all. Ferrets are not wild animals. Only one that are still wild are the blackfooted ferrets. They are completely harmless. I have gone ahead and notified several of the facebook ferret groups I belong to. As others stated before check the vets around town. Ask for the vets the do exotic animals as ferrets fall under that category. Also craigslist and the aspca would be a great way to let people know you have found the lost ferret. Ferrets in the right home are valued members of the family. As also stated in other posts they arent for everyone. Dont go buy 1 for your6 year old . Yes the do poop in corners but putting puppy pads down goes a long way to keeping your floor clean.. Also they have litterboxes that are shaped to fit in corners. They are very intelligent animals that have been domesticated since 400 B.C. .Smarter than dogs and cats and most people honor students. All that aside I am sure someone is missing this little one very much and if I lived In Ann Arbor in stead of Tulsa OKlahoma I would hold onto him till his ferrents could be found.


Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 4:50 p.m.

It was a lighthearted comment and I have no interest in owning an animal because I know I am not suited for it. Calm down please.


Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 1:07 p.m.

"ferrents" - love it.


Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 5:12 a.m.

Also try Craiglist. People post about lost pets there all the time. I found a cat on my front porch and was able to reunite her with her family mere hours later!


Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 4:22 a.m.

Ferrets are incredibly endearing and fun creatures to have in the house, but they're not for everyone. They like to poop in corners is the main problem and it can make a terrible mess if you're not diligent.


Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 3:06 a.m.

Another vote for Motor City Ferrets. If you can't find the owner (or they don't want to be found), humane society is not always the best place for ferrets, if they even take them in at all. The woman who runs Motor City Ferrets is the "Ferret Whisperer" of the region. She loves the animals and knows them well, and is very attentive to screening potential adopters and intentional in pairing the animals well with future owners.

Karen Collins

Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 1:56 a.m.

Unfortunately, people often purchase ferrets at pet stores not realizing how much time and effort they require. The Motor City Ferret Shelter in Hazel Park would be a great place to take Francis. We have adopted 5 ferrets from there. It's a no-kill shelter run by very caring people.

Holy Cow

Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 1:52 a.m.

I am so glad there are people out there like Claire and her husband who are willing to help an animal out. Restores my faith after hearing a story on the news tonight about how a dog was mistreated.


Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 12:41 a.m.

FrancEs (girl)

Cindy Heflin

Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 3:28 a.m.

I just spelled it the way Claire spelled it when she sent me the photo. I figure since she found the ferret and gave it its temporary name, she can spell it any way she likes.


Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 2:56 a.m.

Nowadays, that is the convention. In the early part of the 20th century, though, it was not as unusual for Frances to be a male and, especially, for Francis to be a female. Even now, it is estimated that there are approximately 12,500 females named Francis and about 1400 males named Frances, though their most common ages are 85 and 77, respectively. See <a href="" rel='nofollow'>;a=</a>*DPClash.GivenNameE.Francis-_**Francis.UnitedStates.female-.dflt-&amp;a=*DPClash.GivenNameE.Frances-_**Frances.UnitedStates.male-- for details (I hope that link works; if not, it's just confirmation of the above and some graphics illustrating the distribution of births per year.).


Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 2:06 a.m.

FrancIs (hIm) / FrancEs (hEr)


Tue, Feb 28, 2012 : 11:56 p.m.

You might try calling area veterinarians - there aren't too many white ferrets out there - they may have records of owners.


Tue, Feb 28, 2012 : 11:52 p.m.

Please contact the Humane Society. Tell them you have a lost ferret and if anyone has called recently looking for a lost ferret they'll contact you. In the past they helped unite both my lost dog and me and a lost dog I've found and their owner.


Wed, Feb 29, 2012 : 12:26 a.m.

Yes! I definitely recommend calling the Humane Society! They have a FABULOUS lost and found service! We found a stray that was reunited with his owner that way.


Tue, Feb 28, 2012 : 11:14 p.m.

She needs to &quot;ferret&quot; out the owner.


Tue, Feb 28, 2012 : 10:59 p.m.

Honestly if I saw this thing outside my window I'd probably put out traps and/or call an exterminator for huge rats. I definitely wouldn't let it in my home. Brave woman.