Saturday, January 24, 2015

Baby Attacked By Ferrets

A one month old baby had one-forth of her face chewed off by the parents' pet ferrets.  Her life was saved in surgery, but she faces many more surgeries ahead. 

Her father said, ""I went over to grab the baby, and then the baby's... half the face was messed up from the ferret. So I called 911 immediately," 

Let's look at this statement. 

"I went over to grab the baby,

The first thing we notice is that he tells the reason why he went to the baby.  This indicates that he anticipated being asked.  

 and then the baby's... half the face was messed up from the ferret. 

Note that his child is "the baby" and not "my", or with the child's name.  He stops himself mid-sentence.  

His description:  "half the face was "messed up" from the ferret

"messed up"

We often find minimizing language in abusive and neglectful parents.  Each one of us has a personal, subjective, internal dictionary.  What does "messed up" mean to him?

Authorities reported the condition of the baby's face:  

The ferrets chewed off the baby's nose.  
The ferrets chewed off her upper lip. 
The ferrets had chewed away a portion of the baby's cheek. This did not take place in seconds of measured time.  

So I called 911 immediately," 

He, again, tells us why he called 911, but adds the word "immediately."

We seek to learn:  Why would he feel the need to add the word, "immediately" since it is, or should be, unnecessary.  It is often a signal of neglect, guilt, and possible delay in dialing 911.  It is an unnecessary word making it "doubly important" in analysis. 

He may have called "immediately" but he certainly knows that he will be questioned about the timing.  

The news reported that the family has a lengthy history of child abuse and neglect.  It is likely that child protective workers feared for the new born's life.  

The mother, long involved with CPS said she only put the baby on the floor for a moment to use the bathroom. 

The home was reportedly infested with mites, fleas, filth, and has 6 cats, 2 dogs, 2 turtles and the three ferrets. The only food found inside was a jar of peanut butter, a can of cranberries and some juice. There were four other children in the home, and officials said that the home has been "in crisis" for a long time.  


Anonymous said...

I'd be interested in what you think of this letter.

wreyeter72 said...

I know DHS has a tough time finding people to place children with, which is the reason they give for not taking children out of homes soon enough. But if that is true, then I think we need to open orphanages again. Its better than leaving them to idiot mouth-breathers to neglect.

Buckley said...

This is awful! Neglect is obvious.

The word(s) I'm curious about are "went over". First with "went" he doesn't tell us he picked up the baby, only he went over to. Second, I find the word "over" unexpected. Reports say he was sleeping upstairs and came down when "mom" was screaming the baby was dying. So if he was upstairs, I find "over" odd as to me it implies being in the room and moving to a different part of the room. If he truly came downstairs, what actions took place in between his coming downstairs and going to pick up the baby?

Unknown said...

Good Lord...

I pains me to imagine the screams of this poor baby as her face was chewed up by these oversized rats. Screams that were clearly ignored for a significant amount of time, for injuries this extensive.

How could a parent do that? How could human being do that?

They don't have any food for their 5 kids, but they have 13 different 'pets' living in disgusting squalor with them. People like this make me think that maybe forced sterilization isn't such a bad idea.

Unknown said...

I'm joking about the sterilization, of

But seriously, these people should never have custody of their children again, nor should they even be allowed to provide care for a goldfish.

Unknown said...


Something about this story stinks.

You mean to tell me that these parents who decided to leave the country, and leave their 9yo twins behind in the care of an Uncle, never called to check on their kids in 4 months?

They didn't continue to pay their bills for the home where their boys were living while they were gone for 4 months? (*the article states the boys went through their daily routine, and watched TV when they got home until the cable was cut off for non-payment)

They didn't talk to the Uncle daily/weekly about the well-being of their children? (They claim the Uncle 'reneged' on his agreement to move in with the boys while they were out of the country, but school officials are the ones who eventually noticed a problem, and reported it.)

How long would they have stayed away if the authorities hadn't become involved, thanks to the school? (Although the parents claim to have been 'stuck' out of the country, they clearly had no problem returning after the gig was up.)

john said...

Comment has been deleted by auther

Unknown said...

Exactly Anon!

Link to video of dad speaking, and it's infuriating!

The article also says that they had more food in the house for the animals, than they did for the children. Dad is apparently still allowed contact with the other children while he stays in the same home where they were placed with a relative.

Anonymous said...

Animals and children rarely mix until a certain age of the child. Most children, not this infant of course, do not know how to care for a pet and often abuse it unintentionally. Parents think it's a great learning tool, and it is if the child is responsible;most are like their parents and are not.

An infant reeking of milk products is bait for a hungry animal. Even cats are known to smoother the child by sleeping on his/her face. Pet snakes coil around them and squeeze. Dogs can become jealous and bite or lash out if a baby is thrashing it as most babies thrash about wildly.

I'm just waiting for the deputy that inflicted his beast upon my garage sale customers to break through the fallen fence of the concerned parent behind me to find out how child friendly it is when faced with other dogs. Pit bulls are notorious for maulings. Some clutched their chest and headed for their car upon his approaching. I put him up for safe keeping and when the owner arrived I didn't get as much as a thank you afer it peed on items. The tag said REWARD for return. Not needed. I simple thank you would have been enough but that is impossible in my area.

Anonymous said...

The baby must have been crying! I don't understand stories like this. There was one quite a whike back about a babys feet/foot being chewed off by a puppy. How can you not hear your baby crying in pain for that length of time? Or worse yet, not care?!

elf said...

Heinous. I wonder what the father was going to say when he self edited (and then the babys ... half the face was messed up) ? He points out that its the ferrets fault but I would expect him trista lay blame on hisself as well. If I had a family pet attack my baby id blame myself. When he says (so I called 911 immediately) it makes me think that he didn't want to. Saying it that way gives no sense of urgency, to me.
That poor baby. And that kind of damage took longer than just a few minutes, where were those adults (I can't call them parents) where were the older kids? I hope both the adults go to jail.

elf said...

*typo* I would expect him to blame his self - yay for smart phones :)

Anonymous said...

Ferrets are disgusting. They nip at you. Ive had it happen to me once when I unknowingly laid down to sleep in a room with a ferret (long story). The thing ran around my entire body over and over nipping at every inch of me.. It hurt. It did not break the skin. It seemed to me it was trying to test to see if I was food. These ferrets would have had to be gnawing on this poor baby for quite some time and the baby would have been screaming non-stop. How the hell could the mother not have noticed that??? Something is very strange. It makes me wonder if someone put food on the baby's face to make the ferrets think the baby was food!

Anonymous said...

One of the first things that stuck out to me was when he said, half THE face was messed up. A lot of people call their baby "the baby", especially if there are older kids. Maybe not in a situation like this, or any other serious personal situation, as I know that is something always pointed out to flag. So, I did notice him saying "the baby" (among other things), but I find the most impersonal being "the face". Even if you were to say "the baby", "my baby", "daughter", what have you, it seems so extraordinarily weird to me to say "the face". Even if using the term "the baby", you'd still say "her face".

Anonymous said...

They had no human food, apparently. It said they had more animal food than human food, but more doesn't mean the proper amount or kind, to me. They probably weren't feeding the animals properly either, and the animals were properly neglected also. They were probably hungry. That's a sick thought, I don't like thinking it, but it's probably true. That, plus the obvious neglect of the kids is a recipe for disaster. How could they not hear the baby crying? It's awful to think what that baby went through, while these "parents" were doing...what?

Droll Skeptic said...

@anon 8:50


Droll Skeptic said...

Ferrets are weasels. They have needle-like teeth because they are predatory animals. They're known to be of unpredictable temperament. Not to mention they STINK horribly, even if we'll cared for. They aren't truly domesticated animals and don't make good pets.

Why anyone would be dumb enough to leave their helpless infant unattended with a pack of weasels is beyond me.

Also beyond me,: why these kids were left by DCF in what they described as a home "in crisis for a long time".

Did an infant really need to be partially eaten alive by the family "pets" before the DCF could step in and remove these kids from their parent's "care"?

Anonymous said...

Anon 8;44,

That is an interesting observation you make about the father saying "the face".
In my opinion, it indicates objectification or dehumanization of the baby.
Even in the case of a negligent or abusive parent you would not expect him to dehumanize the baby after an incident of such profound gravity committed not by him but the family pets.
We also see minimization with him saying "the face" was "messed up".
From what the cops described it was the worst thing he had seen in 45 years, therefore the baby's face was far worse then "messed up".
I was the anon who said I had experience with attempting to sleep in a room with a ferret and how it kept nipping me painfully but did not break the skin. I am by no means an expert of ferrets. However, it would have taken the ferrets longer than a few minutes to do the horrendous damage they did to the baby. The baby would have been screaming. I truly feel that there may have been malicious intent on the part of the parents. BOTH parents did not run to the baby's aid until the ferrets had been gnawing on him or her for what I would guess would have to be 20 minutes. They are tigers that can take big bites. A horrible thought I have about what may have happened is that the parents may have said "let's see what happens if they left the baby there with the ferrets". Supposedly the ferrets broke free of their cage which is a strange coincidence as it is, but how do the parents explain neglecting the screams of the baby combined with the father's language of minimization towards the baby's injuries? I truly believe these parents may have set up the situation, perhaps knew the ferrets were hungry. It is horrible to conceive of, but even your average abusive/neglectful parent would not minimize that kind of damage done to their baby by a pet.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, my post above should say "they are NOT tigers who can take big bites"

Anonymous said...

Makes me wonder if they left the baby at home while they went and did something thinking it would be safe strapped in its seat. I see they have 4 other kids who all have developmental disabilities and not saying that it's the cause but I know severe neglect can contribute to them. We're the kids in the home at the time. I can't find anything that clearly says it. The way he talks about the baby is almost like its another pet or something. Barely any food in the house and it's infested with mites or fleas... The neighbor says it's not that they are bad parents the kids just aren't being taken care of.... That makes them bad parents. I hope the baby can recover from this. It's so vague idk if it's even a boy or girl. Something is definitely wrong in that family.

John Mc Gowan said...


DARBY BOROUGH, Pa. (WPVI) -- A one-month-old baby is hospitalized after losing up to 25 percent of her face when she was attacked by ferrets inside her home.

The incident happened Thursday in the 300 block of Poplar Street in Darby Borough.

The child, named Skyy Isabelle Fraime, was placed in her car seat and then left on the floor. Skyy's mother, Jessica Benales, then went upstairs to use the bathroom.

During the time the mother was away, two of the family's three ferrets escaped their cloth-like cage.

The girl's father, Burnie Fraime, tells us he was asleep upstairs when the tragedy unfolded.

When he and Benales came downstairs, the baby was screaming and they found the ferrets had eaten away 25 percent of her face.

"She kept yelling, 'Oh God! Help me! The baby is dying! The baby is dying!" said Fraime.

Skyy suffered severe injuries to her lips and nose and other parts of her face.

Fraime tells us, "I went over to grab the baby, and then the baby's... half the face was messed up from the ferret. So I called 911 immediately."

The child was rushed to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia where she underwent life-saving surgery.

Her recovery will be a long process, requiring many more surgeries in the years ahead.

"She's in the Intensive Care Unit and she's able to breathe through two stents in her nose," said Darby Borough Police Chief Robert Smythe.

Chief Smythe says the household, which includes a total of five young children - all under the age of 5, is in crisis.

The four other children were put in the care of other family members.

"I'm not a CYS person. I'm a cop. I've been one for 45 years, and this is the most horrific thing I've seen happen to a child in 45 years in this town," said Smythe.

He says the family has been clients of Delaware County Child & Youth Services before this tragedy.

Authorities call the living conditions inside the home 'deplorable.' All the animals were removed including the ferrets, which were euthanized.

Owning ferrets, mammals in the same family as the weasel, is legal in Pennsylvania.

Fraime says in the year that they owned the ferrets, they've never had a problem with them.

Meanwhile police are recommending charges against the parents. However, the Delaware County district attorney has not yet made a decision.

Statement Analysis Blog said...


imagine the time it took for the ferrets to do that much damage!

Neglect is insidious. The only way to prove neglect in court is after the damage is acute.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Peter. It would have taken a long time for the ferrets to do that.
John, thanks for posting the link.
Stories like this as well as pitbull or other dog-maulings of kids make me very upset. People talk about "pitbulls are such gentle animals". Really??? If someone believes that, then fine, they can have pitbulls if it is just them taking the risk, but how selfish to put kids and baby's in harm's way. Same with ferrets, people like the tricks they can do but they are weasels who do not have tge intelligence to not try to eat people as I discovered when one kept running in circles around me nipping at every inch of me. I realized the ferret was testing me to see if I was food but it's behavior was even more bizarre cause it just kept doing it even when it realized I wasnt food, and I am an adult! THE POOR BABY!!!! What a beautiful name the baby has, and one minth into her life, she is dealing with something NOONE should ever deal with! I hope she has the finest doctors who will fully restore her face.

Anonymous said...

"half THE face was MESSED UP"?????

Anonymous said...

Another article said the parents were "slow" which is usually a code-word for at least mildly the "r-word" or intellectually challenged. I know I will get flack for this, but I feel these people should not have been having kids if their IQs were below 80.

If they did, they either should have appointed a conservator over both the parents and the kids, keeping them in constant supervision, or removed all children from the home immediately. Otherwise, why not encourage 13 year-olds and even younger children to get married and have kids, because that's what these people are like in the mind. To maintain consistency, those who argue against me should be willing to allow young children to marry and argue for it being moral, too.

However, I have known those same people to be highly inconsistent in their own reasoning when arguing for slow people to be allowed/encouraged to have kids. They are the same people who claim to be against welfare and conservative but yet argue it is "eugenics" to discourage these people from being parents. Most of them cannot even make minimum wage and must be supported by the government, a charity, the church, or by their own families and friends to even survive.

Anonymous said...

However, the families do not always help (nor are they always able to). You cannot consistently be against welfare and be okay with people who are significantly challenged having kids, especially multiple kids. It is simply common sense.

I am not saying they should be sterilized, but I am arguing that family members/friends/the government shouldn't encourage these people to have families. If they do, they should make sure someone else is always around to raise the kids on behalf of the slow parents, and if not, take the kids away by default.

(This may sound like a contradiction, but I am actually anti-abortion, and prevention before conception is best. Otherwise, I do consider it murder. I also consider myself a fundamentalist Christian, which might also be shocking to some.)

Some (not all!) of these kinds of intellectual disabilities are inherited, which means it is very likely some of the kids will be disabled, too. Someone told me that we are not guaranteed fairness by God in this life and that shouldn't be a reason the parents shouldn't have kids, but I strongly disagree. I do not believe in faith healing for today (beyond the lifetime of the original apostles in the first century), and there is no guarantee God will heal them, either.

It is not only very selfish on the part of the parents, but the man arguing this is actually inconsistent, too. If having these kinds of disabilities is really no big deal, then why not hit yourself over the head with a rock and become brain damaged or do the same to your own kids to put your cheap words into action and show us all how it's done? Oh that's right...hypocrite!

This comment is coming from someone who does have a mild disability and does know what it is like. I am not speaking from absolute ignorance here, unlike what some people reading this might be trying to tell themselves to feel better with their own inconsistency.

To argue against my stance may seem morally good and feel-good on the surface and even "anti-eugenics" for most people (especially professing Christians), but when examined beyond the surface, that feel good fluff starts to completely fall apart. By the way, I am not for most all of "eugenics," so that easy label doesn't work with me.

Oh, and I know people who have suffered having parents with low IQs who were not competent to raise them, and the results were disastrous! Even the events in this article with the baby is a prime example of why the children should not have been left in the sole care of people who are like children themselves in the mind. So, again, I did not arrive at my opinions based off feeling superior to disabled people (I am mildly disabled myself) and in ignorance without any personal experience from which to judge.

If I am truly wrong and any Christian or anyone else for that matter who may be reading this wants to contend with me, they had better provide consistent and viable arguments, or else my opinions above stand as they are. Thank you for reading my rant: I need to vent.

Anonymous said...

Anon, I have known mildly retarded people who would take better care of their kids than some people with genius IQs.
Mildly retarded people are not the only people who own ferrets.
It wasnt stupidity that caused this tragedy. It was malicious intent.
I dont believe this was an "accident".

Anonymous said...

I suffer from a lifelong chronic pain condition caused by a parent with a high IQ who was a sadist. If anything, high IQ gives people the ability to be more diabolical in their planning. That's a fact. Most mildly retarded people are kind. The high IQs can construct very slick public images and excuses--they dont get caught. Stupid people are just much more likely to get caught.

Anonymous said...

they had better provide consistent and viable arguments,

You first

Anonymous said...

What color where the Weasles cage doors???/////????///?/?????????????////??????/////?/////////????????

Anonymous said...

Anon arguing for eugenics,

Do you think if mildly retarded people are sterilized you'll have a world full of great parents? How come most of these atrocities we read about are committed by people of normal IQ?
People need to become more adept as distinguishing between "accidents" which are the result of neglect and intentional malice excused by "it was an accident".
This ferret incident has way too many variables that had to "cooperate" for it to happen. At least 5. Yet people think "it was an accident".

dadgum said...

Dear God.
The issue isn't parental intellect..
It is lack of general understanding that Ferrets are carnivores, and suffer low blood sugar. They will bite anything or anyone if they are hungry. Even when tame.

John Mc Gowan said...

Anonymous said...

I suffer from a lifelong chronic pain condition caused by a parent with a high IQ who was a sadist. If anything, high IQ gives people the ability to be more diabolical in their planning. That's a fact. Most mildly retarded people are kind. The high IQs can construct very slick public images and excuses--they dont get caught. Stupid people are just much more likely to get caught.

January 25, 2015 at 1:13 PM

Hi, i'm sorry you "suffer from a lifelong chronic pain condition caused by a parent with a high IQ who was a sadist"

I respected your passivity.

I do however, refute your idea of someone with a "high IQ, having the ability to be more diabolical in their planning!" Than people with a lesser "IQ"

Fred and rosemary west from the UK. Raped tortured and murdered many, including their own daughter. Between them, they wouldn't know how to string a sentence together, or write one for that matter. I would bet, it's to late now, and yes hind site can be a wonderful thing. They were very good at, and were, putting on the all's well family face to others. This however, doesn't necessarily mean the have a "High IQ". Not all Psychopaths/sociopaths are intelligent. Yes some are, Ted Bundy for example.

Intelligence doesn't necessarily aquate to one or the other.

You state that it is "fact i very much doubt that.

On a separate note. There is a cause and effect with "accidents" they don't come from a vacuum accident box.

dadgum said...

CPS should have had them removed..
If these parents are DD then a baby a year would likely be overwhelming.

John Mc Gowan said...

I will be very surprised if drugs and or alcohol didn't have a major part in all this!

Polo said...

John said: You state that it is "fact i very much doubt that.

Give "Anon" a break. That might be their internal dialog given what he/she went through.

John Mc Gowan said...

Hi Polo, as you can see, i was not having a go at Anon above. I stated that i doubt that, that is the case.

John Mc Gowan said...

And i did qualify it by using the word "doubt" ?

John Mc Gowan said...

Just to add and avoid any confusion. I was not doubting anons circumstances, but the facts about the statement of high IQ Vs low IQ's in crimes.

Anonymous said...

John, I respect what you are saying. However, high IQ people are certainly more capable of being more diabolical in their planning. Yes, absolutely, low IQ people can be sociopaths and can do horrendous things like the case you mentioned. The people in the case you mentioned did get caught. Ted Bundy was high IQ, however, if you read about him, it was a WONDER noone caught him MUCH sooner than they did. Ted Bundy behaved like a wild beast, there was little "careful planning", rather he would bust into houses and knock people unconscious and was sometimes seen doing this by witnesses. Yes he did trick people by wearing casts and pretending to be helpless but if anything that made him so much more identifiable, it made him stand out to any witnesses of which there were many. Ted Bundy had the bizarre quality of being able to subtly alter his appearance by growing his hair just a little bit longer and he would look very different. Or growing a little bit of beard and that would make him look much different. Whereas, with most people they would not look like a different person from a subtle change like that, Ted Bundy did appear to be a different person from subtle appearance changes, making him much harder to identify, and I think this, more than anything, contributed to his not being caught for so long.
Anyway, my only point was, and perhaps I did not make it well, it is more the quality of a person's character that dictates how horrible there actions are, rather than intelligence, but absolutely, I believe higher intelligence can lead to someone who is of very bad character creating much more convoluted, sinister "plans" that are harder to detect. And let's face it, if a person is retarded, that is usually evident from their appearance, and therefore, it would very difficult for that person to create a slick public image for themselves. Whereas, with high IQ, you're going to have people doing crafty things to have people think "you are just wonderful". You do see this aspect in Ted Bundy with him becoming involved in politics and even volunteering at a suicide hotline and helping suicidal people. That aspect of him is a GOOD example of what I am talking about with public image.

John Mc Gowan said...

Thanks anon, i respect your reply, and i do now see what you say, now you have clarified your point. :)


Anonymous said...

I posted a comment here yesterday rhetorically asking why people like these parents are never infertile, while many people who struggle with infertility and would be great parents, can't conceive (paraphrasing).

The comment has been removed. Why?

Administration Reply said...

Your comment was removed because you "Trolled".

administration said...

You trolled.

administration said...

Comment removed @23:45 for "trolling".

wreyeter72 said...

My daughter has an IQ of 77. She is a good mother. She cant pass the tests required in our state to get a high school diploma, but she keeps a clean, safe home and is an attentive, loving mother. She can't get a job worth a darn without a diploma after being in special education classes - but thank God she gets to be a stat-at-home mom instead. IQ doesn't have a thin to do with parenting - common sense and a loving, caring spirit do.

sidewalk super said...

blogger above so correct about orphanages, and I still think parents like these need to be ordered to undergo sterilization.

Pete G said...

Anonymous said, "Same with ferrets, people like the tricks they can do but they are weasels who do not have tge intelligence to not try to eat people as I discovered when one kept running in circles around me nipping at every inch of me. I realized the ferret was testing me to see if I was food but it's behavior was even more bizarre cause it just kept doing it even when it realized I wasnt food, and I am an adult!"

The news story about the baby is horribly tragic but it is giving rise to the usual misconceptions about ferrets. My fiancée used to own cats but became severely allergic and was told by someone that she could probably tolerate ferrets. Having heard all the stories it was with the greatest reluctance that I agreed to check them out to make her happy.

I was completely shocked to discover that ferrets are brilliantly intelligent, recognize their owners and have different relationships with each (perhaps more generally playful with one and more cuddly with the other, depending on personality). As with any animal they learn what their owners teach them regarding behavior toward others: a loved ferret would never attack anyone; an abused ferret will bite from fear.

As to ferrets being wild animals - not true. They have been domesticated for thousands of years and are in fact so domesticated that they cannot survive in the wild.

The story Anonymous tells above does not describe a ferret assessing for food. The description is of a playful ferret teasing to try to engage the human in play (along the lines of "tag, you're it"). This is what they do with each other (note that the skin was not broken). With better training the ferret would have been better socialized to humans and would have been trained not to do that, but it is not an attack in the way Anonymous interprets.

The current story does not make sense. Ferrets imprint strongly on their food when transitioning from nursing and thereafter do not readily recognize anything else as "food" without careful transitional training. To those familiar with the breed it is nearly incomprehensible that ferrets accustomed to eating kibble would spontaneously attack an infant in this way. Fear-biting if an infant made a sudden move is certainly possible, which is why NO infant should be left alone with ANY animal. But there are a few things about the story as described that are nearly incomprehensible.

Hopefully the state will have performed a complete necropsy on these animals. It is entirely possible that they were not to blame and that these horrific injuries were caused by other neglected animals in the house or by some other means.

No matter what, the story is horribly tragic, but blaming an entire species of companion animal as vicious and dangerous because of this incident would be an extremely unjust outcome - particularly if it turns out the ferrets didn't even do it.

Anon "I" said...

A ferret jumped at me from 4 feet away from someone's shoulder. I was 5 months pregnant and still moved fast enough that the thing dropped to the ground. I can't stand ferrets to this day. Come to think of it, I was having early contractions that weekend, too. I blame the ferret.

Evil isn't constrained by IQ. I tend to want to classify things as good or evil on either side of a situation. The older I get, the more I can see that both sides can be evil, just as both sides can be good. I hope that makes sense.

Anon "I" said...

Also, adults are free to enjoy ferrets as the comment above mine says. I agree they are smart, but just not for me. ;)

This situation of the poor baby was all on the parents, not the ferret.

Peter G Weasles Lunch! said...

I'm tasty!!!! Chomp my big boobyz ��

Tania Cadogan said...

As a heads up Ferrets (Mustela putorius furo) are NOT weasels, they are a domesticated version of the European polecat a mammal belonging to the same genus as the weasel, Mustela of the family Mustelidae.
Ferrets spend 14–18 hours a day asleep and are most active around the hours of dawn and dusk, meaning they are crepuscular

It doesn't say how old the ferrets were which would help explain why they bit (if indeed they did)
Ferrets imprint on their food at around 6 months after that it can be difficult to give them new foods.
Kits will occasionally bite as this is how they interact with each other in play and their skin is thicker, they don't realise biting hurts.
It is the owners job to train their ferrets not to bite.

I can't work out why they would attack an infant since it wouldn't taste like food, were the animals being starved?
Were the ferrets used as a punishment?
Was the child abused before hand and the damage blamed on the ferrets?
Was the child abused before hand and the ferrets then encouraged to bite the infant to mask the damage

Either way the parents story does not add up.
The parents are being deceptive and when parents are deceptive, they have a reason to be as such

dadgum said...


We ARE Weasles you evil Goat said...

Leave us alone BISCUIT BREATH!!!

Wally Weasell said...

tania cadogan ....shust up!You know NOTHING about us we ARE FERRETY WEASLES and shall always fart upon your biscuits.

tania cadogan said...

Ok hunny xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

john said...

This comment has been deleted by the author

trustmeigetit said...

That poor baby would have been screaming! The fact the animals did that much damage proves neglect. Period. Where were they!

The horror that poor child endured is horrifying!

And CPS is clearly a joke! They are focused on parents who are letting their kids walk alone, yet these children were living in horrifying conditions and werewolf to stay.

But on the other note....often foster care is worse and then add in that the kids would likely be seperated and then still put in abusive homes but now with strangers...

The system is beyond broken.

We found a cousin who was taken away from our other cousin (his mom) years ago. He said was 2 when he was removed and was then moved around till hi was 12. He said every single foster parent he had (about 8 different ones) abused him. Sexually, emotionally, physically or all of the above. His childhood in foster care was a life of horror. Thankfully he was then adopted by good people but the damage he said stays with him. He suffers from depression and anger.

The system is broken. I can not say that enough.

But govt has money for war. For guns. For welfare. For prisons to have TV, phones, 3 meals a day....

But there's not enough to take care of these innocent children right?

No words for the state of the world..,

trustmeigetit said...

I had not thought about them being used to cover abuse. Interesting theory.

trustmeigetit said...

"Oh God! Help me"

Not asking for help for that poor baby, but herself.

where where YOU then? said...

YOU should have stepped in,helped him.Evil cow!

Tania Cadogan said...

DARBY, Pa. – A Philadelphia-area couple whose pet ferrets attacked their newborn daughter and chewed off parts of her face have been charged with child endangerment.

Court documents show 42-year-old Burnie Fraim and 24-year-old Jessica Benales each face five counts of endangering the welfare of children.

Authorities in Delaware County say the month-old girl was left downstairs in her car seat, where she was attacked by the ferrets. Officials say the ferrets chewed off her nose and part of her cheek and lip.

Court documents indicate the defendants have asked for representation by the county public defender's office. Calls to the office rang unanswered Monday night.

KYW-TV reports Fraim said earlier he didn't believe the Darby couple should face criminal charges.

LadyGuile said...

Thank God Pete G for a rational response.

Ferrets are not dangerous.

As to the pregnant lady who had a pet ferret jump at her from it's owner's shoulder, this is friendly behavior. Loved and loving ferrets that can balance love to ride around on people's shoulders and they expect you to catch them if they jump to another person. I didn't say this is smart behavior, but trusting and friendly.

Also the nipping is how they play if they haven't been taught nipping is not the right way to get a human's attention. Instead of nipping, my ferrets will run up and hug my foot then bounce away. They're just saying "tag, you're it."

And finally, this is soooo the parents fault but even if it was the ferrets fault, there are about 7-10 million ferrets kept in the US depending on who ran the study and there are an average of 22 ferret bites reported annually. Whereas there are about 4.5 million dog bites per year from all breeds all the way down to the Chihuahua. Where are all the "ALL DOGS ARE VICIOUS AND NO ONE SHOULD OWN A DOG!" crowd? Sure there's the Anti-PitBull lobby, but so many people keep dogs that no one is going to give up their lab cause someone else's lab bit somebody. If they know anything they'll point out that the lab was neglected and the owner never socialized it. Can we please have the same rational response to this?

And no, I don't care what hoarder you met who had a few ferrets. If you DO take care of them they do not stink. Proper food, no bathing to strip the skin and make them produce oils (just like dogs), and keeping litter boxes clean makes for a happy clean household.

Jackie Rocco said...

First of all ferrets are NOT oversized rats. Ferrets DO NOT drink milk so if this baby was attacked because it smelled of formula then it would have been attacked by the cats NOT the ferrets. There was NO human tissue or any evidence of human blood or anything of the sort found in any of the ferrets who were still euthanized. This was a family being monitored by 3 different welfare services becuase of past incidents. The mother told police she heard the screams and ran to the baby. No human food in the house. House in deplorable conditions not even livable. The father said it's not his fault or the girlfriend's fault it was the ferrets fault and it was a small mistake. Small mistake? WTH is wrong with him. The ferrets didn't attack this baby. Something else did but the parents are afraid to say. Ferrets have never ever been known to do such a thing. The only other case a few years back where a mother claimed the family ferret chewed 7 fingers off one of her baby's. Guess what? It turned out the mother lied and was arrested. Attacks of this kind by a ferret is out of character. Maybe their cats did it or if the house was so disgusting maybe they had rats. People without knowledge shouldn't spread lies. So, get facts straight. Kudos to the author of this story and how it was written.

trustmeigetit said...

This is neglect. Period.

Bad ferrets or not...this was not a bite. This was a brutal attack on the child's face for an extended period of time. I can only imagine the screams this child made and no one came to her rescue.

I dont think mom and dad where home.

Even if you normally ignore cries, this would have been screams. I don't see that being ignored.

And unless their home is huge, they would have heard her.

Poor baby girl! I can not imagine the horror!

Jackie Rocco said...

YES...both parents were home. This was neglect on the part of the parents and also welfare services. Why were 3 different welfare services monitoring this family and still leave all 5 children with the parents? And, to the Anonymous who stated they were being nipped at it's cause they were trying to play the way a kitten or puppy would. And ferrets are picky eaters. If some moron put food on the baby's face and the small chance the ferrets took to it they would only lick it off and be on their way. They are highly intelligent animals. My ferrets eat from hand all the time and from kid's. Not once did them eating from our hands turn into ans sort of attack. I've owned ferrets since 1986. Cats are more likely to attack with the smell of milk or formula. Like with any animal that lives in a cage or uses a litter box if you take care of their living quarters and hygiene there is minimal odor. I've been quite a few homes where dogs and or cats are owned and the house reeked of their animals. The parents of this poor baby ignored her screams because she was attacked but it was not by the ferrets. Once again NO human tissue was found in any of the ferrets mouths or internally...NONE! The parents knew enough to blame the ferrets for something stupid they caused cause it was the easiest way out. Maybe the 40 something year old father was too busy screwing his 20 something year old girlfriend-fiance for either of them to hear their 1 month old daughter screaming. The dad was upstairs claiming he was sleeping. Mom strapped the baby in the car seat and left her alone on the floor so she can join daddy in bed. They didn't want to admit that at first. Now, all the kids have finally been removed which should have happened a long time ago and the parents have been arrested. They need to find out the truth on what really attacked that innocent little baby. It wasn't the ferrets. You don't have to own ferrets to know they didn't do it just be knowledgeable about ferrets and their mannerisms and personalities. The media will hype anything to get attention to get people to watch to get people to buy. It's their job. I hope the truth comes out on which of their animals did this...maybe their cats, one of their rottweilers, or the snapping turtles they owned. The truth will come out. Now, this poor baby has to go thru life knowing her parents or lack there of caused this.

Anonymous said...

Jackie Rocco,

I tried to explain earlier in the thread that I did not believe the alleged ferret attack to be an "accident" or a result of neglect but rather an act of malice.

I don't believe the Mom and Dad were in bed together, as they are now "admitting". They have concocted that crock to try to explain the time delay in responding to their baby's screams while her face was being eaten by ferrets.
I believe whatever happened to this baby was an intentional act of malice. People are saying ferrets don't do this, ferrets don't do that. Well, maybe they starved the ferrets. I certainly do not believe a cat would do that to a baby. A dog might but can't the doctors tell if was a dog bite? Maybe there was a time delay in calling 911.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

I have ferrets. I remember the weeks it took me to convince them raw meat was food. No way these kibble fed animals would have decided to do this. Look at Wild rats instead(which had also infested the home)

Unknown said...

I know that ferrets aren't ACTUALLY over-sized rats...but that's where they fall in my book. My ex boyfriend had a ferret, and they skeeve me out. (Especially when I imagine them mauling this baby's face!)

I'm sure it does make a difference if they are well kept, and trained....but I highly doubt that the ferrets kept by these people were trained, fed, or even kept caged as they claim. If not, then all the well meaning claims that "ferrets don't behave that way" probably wouldn't apply to THESE ferrets.

If in fact the injuries WERE caused by a different animal, it's still the same situation. Neglect, and disgusting living conditions led to this baby being scarred for life, and these parent deserve the charges they are facing, and to lose custody of their kids for good.

Unknown said...

It very well could be rats, considering the officer said the house was in bad disturbing!


Neglect is the core issue. Whatever mauled this baby, it had time to do extensive damage.

Anonymous said...

Neglect would certainly explain it if it weren't for the fact both parents were present and could hear the baby screaming in pain for probably a half hour and did not go see why their baby was screaming in agony for a half hour.
Why didn't the go see? The baby's non stop scream of agony would sound quite different than a fussy or crying baby. These parents did something malicious to the baby. It is human instinct to respond to a baby screaming in PAIN for even a very short period of time.
These parents need to NEVER be allowed around kids again.

Anonymous said...

Also, just wanted to add (with apologies for not having a link to the source handy, but it's out there) that one article referred to neighbors hearing very distressing screams from the infant for a prolonged period of time.
There's a terrible sadness in cases where children and animals are suffering from neglect. Longitudinal studies indicate that the damage caused by this is irreparable and becomes circular with these children at risk of later becoming neglectful adults. All of these lives depended on the adults in that home; children and animals. A problem had already been identified and nothing was done - unless I understood incorrectly all the animals were euthanized. Certainly all of their stomach contents can be examined for any signs that they'd attacked this child.
I love many different types of animals and find it hard to believe that any of them especially the ferrets, were responsible for this act.
It's distressing it see the misinformation that exists about these animals. I def understand any animal not being a choice pet for someone, knowing people who fear dogs, cats, etc.
But these are domestic animals...basically another way of saying 'tame'. Evolved over many many hundreds of years to live in concert with man, not attack them.
I have many lets that I love and trust in my home. Having said that, I would not leave small children, let alone an infant unattended in their presence.
It seems like something more was going on in that home than neglect, though that's conjecture on my part.
What we do know now is that the children are safe with family members as they should have been long before this happened. It sounds like some of these children have special needs and these parents were def not providing anything close to the kind of care they needed.
There's a book called Tuning Stones that provides terrifying insight into how bad the situation is with CPS in NYC. Please read it...the insight of the this man who was a CPS agent right out of college might help to fix a brokent system, we must take a forward stance on this if the agencies they depends on do not.
Animals are very often neglected in homes where children are neglected.mthere are strong links between the two. All of these animals lost their lives, simply for being present they were not presumed innocent and the world of two people who have not proved trustworthy was taken to kill them all.
And you can be sure that eithe children are aware of this...hiw much you want to bet they are wondering what there parents might say about one of them and what could happen to them as a result.
We will see what happens. Often when the furor over theee cases quiets down pm the children are handed right back to known neglectful and possibility abusive parents. And 5 will get you 10 they'll have more animals in no time too.
If the cycle of cruelty is to be broken we must stop abusive parents from regaining custudy of these children and they should not be allowed to take in any animals either.
Thank you for all the thoughtful and knowledgable people who posted to dispel myths about ferrets and other animals. We need to make sure we are all properly informed if we are going to have any chance at helping lives at risk.
Also just a shout out fyi to the individual who stared 'cats smother infants'...that is most definitely a wive's take and has been disproven.
I pray for the well being of those children and my hopes are they have a chance at a normal life. I also pray these individual are not in charged of innocent lives again.
Thanks so much for you patience with my prolific statement, <3

Anonymous said...

People, including some here, while well-intentioned, seem to not understand what neglect actually is.
Neglect is failing to take care of a child, or certainly, allowing a child around a dangerous situation, perhaps a parent is passed out from drugs and the children play with something dangerous while the parent is passed out, like a sharp tool, etc. or drink a poisonous chemical. BECAUSE the parent either is not watching them as a result of leaving them home alone or leaving them unattended because they are passed out on drugs.
If neighbors could hear the baby screaming in distress (which of course she would have been screaming ear-piercing screams if ferrets were eating her face) then the parents could also hear her screaming in pain!!! This is not neglect! The parents knowing the baby was in severe pain and "ignoring" the baby's screams is not neglect, it indicates something far more nefarious than that. What it indicates I am unsure exactly. But I honestly think the parents set the situation up. Consider if you will all of the variables that had to cooperate for the ferrets to escape and eat the baby's face.

1) Dad sleeping
2) Mom "in the bathroom"
3) 4 siblings who could have come to the baby's aid, only, none of them were around! And in the winter time too, which makes it more unlikely they were simply playing outside because they would have heard the baby screaming outside as the neighbor's did
4) Baby left in a seated position in car seat (because if baby had been placed laying down on her stomach, I feel she would have at least been able to turn her head and perhaps avoid some of the damage that was done to her
5) Ferrets "escape" their enclosure. 2 of the ferrets escaped. Why did the 3rd not escape? WAs it because the 2 just got adventurous and escaped while the other 1 did not feel the urge to escape (which is possible) or did 2 escape because they actually didn't escape but were lifted out of their enclosure by one of the parents?
6) Screams of agony from the baby "were not heard" for what I am guessing would have been at least 20-30 minutes even though the baby was in the house.

All of these factors need to be carefully looked at as well as any history of any the children being injured in any serious way as the result of an "accident".

Anonymous said...

Also, this is a terrible thought, but no matter how much people say they "know" how ferrets behave, maybe these ferrets were starving, and the parents put food on the baby's face. The reason why I consider this a possibility is because I read that the house had no food except peanut butter. I know that rats love peanut butter and it is often used to lure them into traps, because they love it so much.

Anon "I" said...

LadyGuile said...
Thank God Pete G for a rational response.

Ferrets are not dangerous.

As to the pregnant lady who had a pet ferret jump at her from it's owner's shoulder, this is friendly behavior. Loved and loving ferrets that can balance love to ride around on people's shoulders and they expect you to catch them if they jump to another person. I didn't say this is smart behavior, but trusting and friendly....

January 27, 2015 at 1:28 PM
Dear Lady Guile,

I didn't think of it as being a friendly gesture at the time. Maybe I'll have to give the ferret that jumped at me the benefit of the doubt. Maybe it was reacting to my mother's DNA in me.... she was an animal lover and would adopt, rescue, recover, and keep all sorts of animals. The only reason we never had a ferret must have been because she never came across one that was in need. :)

Anon "I"

Anonymous said...

LadyGuile said...
Thank God Pete G for a rational response.

Ferrets are not dangerous.

As to the pregnant lady who had a pet ferret jump at her from it's owner's shoulder, this is friendly behavior. Loved and loving ferrets that can balance love to ride around on people's shoulders and they expect you to catch them if they jump to another person. I didn't say this is smart behavior, but trusting and friendly....

January 27, 2015 at 1:28 PM
Dear Lady Guile,

I didn't think of it as being a friendly gesture at the time. Maybe I'll have to give the ferret that jumped at me the benefit of the doubt. Maybe it was reacting to my mother's DNA in me.... she was an animal lover and would adopt, rescue, recover, and keep all sorts of animals. The only reason we never had a ferret must have been because she never came across one that was in need. :)

Anon "I"

foodnerd said...

Another new member to your SA cult, Peter! Would love to take the full course some day soon.

Meanwhile, is there a reason why you emphasized the father's referring to his baby as "the" baby, but didn't point out when he described the horrific damage as to "the" face, not her face? This hits me as much more telling, since he was likely looking directly at her while he described the carnage as he made effort to distance himself from it.

Also, he may be accustomed to referring to her as "the" baby when talking to acquaintances or co-workers who may not have met her, such as, "Sounds fun, but I'll have to find a sitter for the baby."

But even a passing stranger calling into 911 would say her or his face , not "the" face when describing traumatic injuries.