Pet owner demands return of stolen ferrets as hunting season nears

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A concerned pet owner fears that her eight ferrets who have been snatched from her garden are being used to hunt rabbits and is asking for help to retrieve them.

Jessica Swadling, 27, said the five adults and three babies disappeared from a communal garden she shares with neighbors in Maidstone, the largest town in Kent County, England.

Swadling said the animals were pets that had never worked in their lives, but believes that since rabbit season is approaching, his beloved ferrets may have been brushed off to hunt.

She said the animals – Cinder, Rapunzel, Maui, Sookie, Dexter, Otis, Moana and Alfalfa – were much loved by friends and neighbors, especially children.

Sookie the ferret is pictured in an undated photo. Jessica Swadling, Sookie’s owner, fears that her eight ferrets that have been snatched from her garden are being used to hunt rabbits and is appealing for help to get them back.
Jessica Swadling, SWNS/Zenger

“I have a communal garden and they all live there. It’s not fenced but we’ve never had any problems with anyone,” Swadling said.

“The night before this happened my ex-partner sorted their food in the evening and saw them at 10 p.m. He went to check in the morning and called me to say ‘did you put the ferrets in inside?’

“He said they were removed. The hutch was opened and the majority of the ferrets were taken away. We are left with only three adults and two babies. Eight ferrets – five adults and three babies – are missing.

Baby ferret belonging to Jessica Swadling
One of the baby ferrets is pictured in an undated photo. Jessica Swadling fears her eight ferrets that have been snatched from her garden are being used to hunt rabbits and is appealing for help to get them back.
Jessica Swadling, SWNS/Zenger

“I have no idea why anyone stole them. I will bend over backwards to help anyone and won’t bother anyone. I don’t know why this happened. It could be someone who hangs around the tire plaza next to the garden who might have seen them,” Swadling said.

“Rabbit season is approaching. They have never worked in their life – my adults are just pets – but that may also be why they were stolen. They all have fantastic temperaments We have had all the adults since they were babies and we are breeders.

“They’ve been with us their whole lives and are so sweet. They love hugs. They’re so sweet and funny and bouncing back. I’m just devastated. It’s heartbreaking because if you could see how they lived, you could see that they were very beloved pets,” she said.

“They’re just a lot of fun, they give me hours of fun watching them, and everyone loves them. They had tubes and hammocks and toys for dogs and cats. They had everything they wanted.”

Produced in collaboration with SWNS.

This story was provided to Newsweek by Zenger News.

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