A worried pet owner fears her eight ferrets that were snatched from her garden might be used to hunt rabbits and is appealing for help to get them back.
Jessica Swadling, 27, said the five adults and three babies vanished from a communal garden she shares with neighbors in Maidstone, the largest town in the county of Kent, England.
Swadling said the animals were pets that had never worked in their lives, but thinks since rabbit season is approaching, her beloved ferrets may have been swiped to hunt.
She said the animals – Cinder, Rapunzel, Maui, Sookie, Dexter, Otis, Moana and Alfalfa -were much loved by friends and neighbors, especially children.
“I have got a communal garden and they all live in there. It is not fenced off but we have never had any issues before with anyone,” Swadling said.
“The night before it happened my ex-partner sorted out their food in the evening and saw them at 10 p.m. He went to check in the morning and rang me to say ‘have you got the ferrets inside?’
“He said they had been taken. The hutch was opened and the majority of the ferrets had been taken away. We only have three adults and two babies left. Eight ferrets–five adults and three babies–are missing.
“I have no idea why someone has stolen them. I will bend over backwards to help anyone and don’t upset anyone. I don’t know why it has happened. It could be someone hanging around the tire place next to the garden who might have seen them,” Swadling said.
“It is coming up to rabbiting season. They have never worked in their lives–my adults are just pets–but that’s also possibly the reason they have been stolen. They all have a fantastic temperament. We have had all the adults since they were babies and we are breeders.
“They have been with us for their entire lives and are just so sweet. They love cuddles. They are so sweet and funny and just bounce around. I am just devastated. It is heartbreaking because if you could see how they were living, you could see they were very loved pets,” she said.
“They’re just great fun, they give me hours of enjoyment watching them, and everyone loves them. They had tubes and hammocks and dog and cat toys. They had everything they wanted.”
Ferrets are very well equipped for getting down holes and chasing rabbits out of their burrows.