You can find a ferret in the new pet store next to my apartment on MingHua Road! But, the owners are real “charming” jerks who don’t know how to care for animals. You can also find ferrets being sold at the Liouhe night market, along with the ducks, raccoons, and goats, all of them locked up in their tiny and disgusting cages.
But PLEASE don’t buy ferrets in Taiwan. If you’re a foreigner, especially an American, just wait until you go back home to get another ferret. Aside from the fact that they are heinously expensive to buy here, they are also badly cared for. The pet stores you buy them from hardly deserve your business.
I have two ferrets of my own, both of which I brought from home in the states. I’ve gone through their quarantine process and seen other ferrets go through theirs as well. I can tell you that there is no such thing as a ferret in this country that wasn’t either mass imported or legally imported. Also, all the ferrets that you find in Taiwan are imported by a ferret mill, Marshall Farms, a US company known for distributing ferrets to laboratories, and sometimes known for selling ferrets with poor or questionable health.
If a ferret was sold and imported legally, I’d say it’s likely to have been neutered and de-scented. But I’ve heard rumors from people in the exotic animal import business that ferrets distributed to pet stores further towards the south, especially in Kaohsiung, are often not neutered. They are also much cheaper. And I’d bet they weren’t legally imported.
Also, ferrets aren’t at all well cared for once they get here. Despite their claims, Taiwanese importers and pet stores don’t know anyyyyything about ferrets. You will find in many or most pet stores some sad looking, discolored, under-socialized, and emaciated ferrets. Too often you also find under-aged ferrets.
There is a pet store in Taoyuan that sells ferrets. One time I visited, there was a lost ferret that got picked up in the park and was left under the pet store’s care. The ferret was already in really pathetic shape at that point, having yellowed fur, a chipped tooth, and a thinning tail. After a week of “searching for its owner,” the manager DUG out the ferret’s microchip, and tried to sell it for NT$18,000. After a lot of arguing with him about the moral issue of reselling a lost animal, he “generously” lowered the price to NT$16,000.
I’ve been wanting to get another ferret for a long time, and it is always oh-so-tempting when I see one. But like I said, stores that sell ferrets don’t know jack about their animals and cheat you for a tremendous amount of money. They are just plain immoral, so don’t bother with them. You’re better off adopting or fostering a needy animal from BARK.