THE Scottish SPCA has appealed to the public to find homes for ferrets in the organisation’s care, after receiving an unexplained influx of the animals.

The animal welfare charity is currently caring for more than 60 of the mustelids across its nine rescue and rehoming centres, which Scottish SPCA deputy head of field operations Graeme Innes described as “more ferrets than usual”.

Innes commented: “Sadly, these animals are consistently overlooked for rehoming and tend to stay in our care for a long time. It’s a shame, as they can make fantastic pets in the right homes.”

According to Innes, the Scottish SPCA is uncertain about what is driving the increase in ferrets requiring care, saying: “It could be that people didn’t want them any more when the reality of owning one of these animals set in.

“Although they are great for adult homes, or homes with older teenagers, they’re not really suitable as children’s pets as they can nip. They also need a lot of enrichment and exercise as they’re highly social, intelligent creatures who love interacting with their owners. They shouldn’t just be left in a cage and forgotten about.

“However, if you’re willing to put the time and effort in to caring for them they can be incredibly rewarding animals to own. They’re very inquisitive and cheeky and will definitely bring a lot of fun into their new owners’ lives.”

Among the ferrets seeking a new home is Masala, pictured, who arrived into care at the Scottish SPCA’s Angus, Fife and Tayside facility after being found as a stray, with no owner coming forward to claim him. He is described as “a handsome man”, who could “potentially live with another ferret following a successful introduction”.

All the ferrets that the Scottish SPCA currently have for rehoming can be viewed and applied for on their website, while questions can be answered by staff at any of the charity’s centre receptions, which are open 1pm until 4pm daily.

Innes added: “If anyone is looking for a friend for their existing ferrets, we’d love to hear from you as we have so many in our care that we’re sure we can find the perfect match.

“We’d love to see these overlooked animals start to generate some interest and get the loving forever homes they deserve.”