FIFERS are being called on to rehome ferrets as the Scottish SPCA reports an 'influx' of the animals.

The rescue centre which covers the Kingdom, alongside Dundee and Angus, has cared for 16 this year alone, with the longest resident having been with them for more than a year.

Across the service, 60 "cheeky" pets are currently waiting to be rehomed.

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 in to our care. It could be that people didn’t want them any more when the reality of owning one of these animals set in!"

Despite being "a lot of fun", ferrets have specific care and environment requirements and those looking to adopt have been advised to consider these before taking one on.

"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," Mr Innes added.

"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 in to 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."

All the ferrets that the Scottish SPCA currently have for rehoming can be viewed and applied for here: