ANIMAL lovers in Fife are being asked to consider rehoming a ferret following reports of an "influx" at rescue centres.

Across the country more than 78 of the "inquisitive and cheeky" animals are being cared for by the Scottish SPCA, with four currently living at the welfare charity's centre which covers Fife.

One of the mustelids, Oscar, was discovered abandoned and has been with the team for more than 145 days while another, Arthur, was found as a stray has been looking for a home for more than 170 days.

Rachael Maclean, Scottish SPCA rehabilitations operations lead, said: “We are currently caring for a lot more ferrets than usual across the Society, including four at our Angus, Fife and Tayside centre.

“Oscar and Arthur are just two of the charming ferrets we have for rehoming.

“Oscar came into our care in August last year after sadly being found abandoned and has been with us for more than 145 days.

“He arrived as a young and boisterous male but our team of staff and volunteers have spent a lot of time working on his manners and he is now lovely to handle.

She continued: “Arthur also came into our care in August last year after being found as a stray. Unfortunately, he was never claimed."

“This cheeky boy has been at our centre for more than 170 days and is constantly making our staff laugh with his zoomies. He loves to chase his toys and sprint through tunnels.

“Arthur can switch between enjoying cuddles and giving a little nip so needs an owner who will be mindful of his mood and continue to work on his manners when being held.

“Sadly, ferrets like Oscar and Arthur 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.

Rachael says she is "not sure" what is driving the increase of ferrets coming into the care of the Scottish SPCA, but that it could be a result of people adopting the animals on a whim and being unable to look after them long-term.

She added: "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 when excited.

"Ferrets 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 have at home. They’re very inquisitive and cheeky and will definitely bring a lot of fun in to their new owners’ lives!

"If anyone is also thinking about becoming a first-time ferret owner then please consider adopting an animal and giving them a second chance.

"We also have a number of lovely personalities who would make excellent companions for existing ferrets.

"Please do get in touch if you’re interested in adopting a new furry friend. We’d love to see these marvellous mustelids start to generate some interest and get the loving forever homes they deserve."

Scottish SPCA centre receptions are open from 1pm until 4pm daily, anyone interested in finding out more can visit or call the team on 03000 999 999.

All the ferrets available for rehoming can be viewed and applied for here: