Dozens of ferrets being brought to animal rehoming centres has sparked an appeal from a charity for members of the public to become pet owners.
The Scottish SPCA say that they are caring for over 60 ferrets across nine animal rescue and rehoming centres.
Currently, there are 30 ferrets listed for rehoming on the charity’s website which are “consistently overlooked”.
Scottish SPCA deputy head of field operations, Graeme Innes, said: “We are currently caring for more ferrets than usual across all our centres.
“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.
“We’re not sure what’s driving the increase in ferrets coming into our care. It could be that people didn’t want them any more when the reality of owning one of these animals set in.”
Mr Innes said that while ferrets make great companions in adult homes, or homes with older teenagers, they are not as suitable to be pets for children as “they can nip”.
The charity also said that ferrets need a lot of enrichment and exercise as they are highly social and intelligent.
Mr Innes added: “They shouldn’t just be left in a cage and forgotten about, however, if you’re willing to put the time and effort into 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.
“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.
“If anyone is also thinking about becoming a first-time ferret owner then please consider adopting an animal and giving them a second chance. Our centre receptions are open 1pm until 4pm daily and you can give our teams a call or pop in with any questions you might have about adopting one of these animals.
“We’d love to see these overlooked animals start to generate some interest and get the loving forever homes they deserve.”