Pet Ferrets Eat 1-Month-Old's Nose, Lip & Cheek

I don't care how adorable they are, if I ever see a ferret anywhere near a child, my fight or flight instincts are going to kick in, thanks to this horrific story. A 1-month-old baby girl from Pennsylvania had her face mauled by three "pet" ferrets as she was buckled into a car seat on the floor of her family's home on Thursday.


Police say the poor infant had been left alone for a few minutes while her mother went upstairs. After she heard her child screaming, the mom went back downstairs to reportedly find one of the ferrets on her baby. The animals had chewed the newborn's nose, top lip, and cheek area, and police say they actually ate the area away.

It's unknown how long the mom let her baby cry and, from what police say, it could have been longer than a few seconds or minutes because, in that time, the ferrets had an opportunity to seriously hurt this child. Both of the baby's parents reportedly suffer from developmental disabilities. They told police the ferrets were kept in a fabric cage and that they don't know how they got out.

The little girl was rushed to the hospital and had to have two stents placed in her nose just so she could breathe. She is currently in stable condition and her father says she is going to need "multiple surgeries" to recover.

More from The Stir: Pet Ferret Eats Baby Fingers: Keep Animals Out of the Nursery!

Apparently, there is even more to this story. Police say they found the baby living in a home infested with fleas or mites, that there was plenty of food for their pets—which included six cats, two dogs, and two turtles—but that the only human food items in the house were a jar of peanut butter, can of cranberry, and juice.

The parents also have four other children, ages 5 and under. They all have special needs, according to police, and are currently staying with a relative.

When I began writing this post, I told myself not to be judgmental, but I'm sorry, that ship has long sailed. You don't have the right to fill your house up with animals and treat them like they are part of a stamp collection. I also don't give a fig how adorable your creatures are, they DO NOT belong anywhere near a small baby, especially if they are animals that could potentially carry rabies.

I actually feel bad for these ferrets, which have since been killed and are being tested for rabies. They were only acting on their instincts and it was this mother's responsibility to understand the dangers and keep them far the hell away from her kids—or, how about this—wait until your babies are grown up to turn your house into a zoo.

If you insist on creating an animal sanctuary in your home, have enough space for them, AND (most importantly) are providing for your children FIRST, more power to you. But that doesn't seem to be the case here.

Police say they are asking the District Attorney to approve charges against the parents. Assuming all of the information we have so far is accurate, I think you can guess where I stand on that.

Do you think these parents should be charged with a crime or was this just an accident? 


Image via USFWS Mountain-Prairie/Flickr

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