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Has Paris Hilton fuelled Derbyshire ferret fancy?
Ferrets get a bad press - they very rarely bite their owners

Forget silly little dogs being carried around in handbags - it seems ferrets could be the new must-have pets for fashion victims.

The RSPCA has reported an increase in the number of people wanting to keep ferrets after Paris Hilton revealed she has two as pets.

But owners are also abandoning the furry creatures and Derby RSPCA currently has 20 up for adoption.

Centre manager Malcolm Hall says he is slightly puzzled by the increase.

He said: "We've had quite a lot coming in recently. I'm not sure what the exact reason is. Hopefully it's not just a fad.

"We only have a limited amount of space for them so we work with Lynn Taylor from East Midlands Ferret Rescue who fosters them so we can find new homes."


Lynn looks after around 130 ferrets at her rescue centre and says she is always careful to check people are taking on the animals for the right reasons.

She told BBC Radio Derby's Aleena Naylor: "We do home checks and a follow-on check one month after rehoming to see how the owners are getting along."

Lynn didn't even like ferrets until her husband insisted on getting a couple 11 years ago - and she soon fell for their charms.

She explained: "My husband wanted them and I didn't! I thought they were horrible.

"But in the end I just fell in love with them and thought they were brilliant.

Now she spends hours each day running the centre, making sure the ferrets are warm and well-fed and helping them find new homes.

She said: "There are so many of them that are mistreated and need homes. I am completely obsessed with them now!"

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