SPCA chaplain falls ‘in love’ with ferret, authors children’s book

Photo Courtesy of Matty Giuliano

EATONTOWN – Moved by his unexpected friendship with a ferret named Musky, Matty Giuliano, a retired animal cruelty officer, has authored a children’s book to promote humane education.

The book is titled “My Name is Musky.”

Humane education is defined as the use of education to nurture respect for living things.

On Dec. 4, Giuliano, who is a chaplain with the Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MCSPCA), was invited by Eatontown Mayor Anthony Talerico to discuss his new book during a Borough Council meeting.

Many years ago, Talerico said, Giuliano encouraged council members to introduce an ordinance that would prohibit the establishment of businesses that breed and sell puppies. Council members subsequently adopted an ordinance which prohibits such establishments in Eatontown, Talerico said.

Today, Giuliano, a self-proclaimed “dog person,” said he “fell in love” with a ferret during the MCSPCA Clear the Shelters event in 2018. The ferret was abandoned by its previous owner before it was rescued by animal control and brought to the MCSPCA, he said.

“I want to emphasize that I never wanted a ferret … they are not my animal of choice,” Giuliano said. “I played with this animal for 10 minutes and I was absolutely hooked. I fell in love instantaneously.

“I was so moved by the relationship the two of us had developed that it inspired me to write a children’s book … I am amazed that a 2-pound animal could create and establish such a bond with its human companion. That bond, in return, goes back to the animal.

“Musky’s story is not unique … what happened to Musky happens every single day … We have an ethical responsibility as caretakers of this planet to be able to provide for all of these animals that are the greater part of creation,” Giuliano said.

Giuliano explained that the characters in his book are based on the employees at the MCSPCA who cared for Musky.

“While this book teaches about the responsibility people have in terms of caring for their animals and not abandoning them, it also references real people and tells young children they can grow up and do this type of work with animals,” he said.

Giuliano presented the governing body with a copy of “My Name is Musky.” The book was then donated to the Eatontown Public Library. Giuliano said he hopes the book will be used in children’s humane education.

He said he partnered with another ordained minister, who is also a humane educator, to create a humane education manual children and teachers may reference in their studies.

Talerico said humane education should be taught to students at an age appropriate level. He said, “People who grow up not knowing how to care for animals really do a lot of harm in society.”

In an interview after the meeting, Giuliano said each book ordered online at mynameismusky.com can is autographed and can include a personal message.

He said 500 copies of his new book have been sold. Additional copies will become available online on Dec. 12.