RSPCA highlights plight of ferrets as charity sees intake rise by third in a year

This RSPCA is highlighting the growing number of unwanted and neglected ferrets coming into its care, there have been 142 ferret incidents in South Yorkshire in the last three years.

Sunday, 3rd April 2022, 3:21 pm

On National Ferret Day (April 2) RSPCA revealed hundreds of animals are ending up in its care

The charity took in 190 ferrets last year (2021) an increase of 31 per cent compared with 145 in 2020.

Sadly during that same amount of time fewer ferrets were able to find loving new homes with 123 rehomed in 2020 and 120 in 2021.

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The charity took in 190 ferrets last year

The animal welfare charity feels the rise may be down to new owners misunderstanding what these popular pets need and how much time and money they cost to look after.

RSPCA small animals expert Dr Jane Tyson said: “Sadly we are seeing an increase in many small animals coming into our care including ferrets and rabbits.

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“We think this may be because new owners underestimate their complex needs, so we would always urge people to do their research before getting them.”

The RSPCA also dealt with 843 incidents relating to ferrets last year as a result of calls to its cruelty and advice line.

This was another increase on the previous year when 796 incidents were dealt with.

Jane added: “Ferrets can make wonderful pets and although they are misunderstood they are charming, cheeky, playful and inquisitive characters.

“Ideally they should be kept in pairs or groups as they’re very sociable.

“They can sleep for up to 20 hours a day but when they’re awake they’re very active and busy so they need lots of enrichment.”

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.