FOUR ferrets and a rabbit have been dumped at Staunton Country Park in Havant.
The pet ferrets were found running loose in Leigh Park Gardens, the wooded area of the country park.
And the rabbit – complete with hutch – was left dumped outside the country park’s gates.
Yvonne Philbrow, the cleaner at Staunton, was shocked as she arrived for work and saw the hutch.
The 55-year-old, of Roman Way, Bedhampton, said: ‘I pulled it open and there was a rabbit inside.
‘I was appalled. I don’t know how long it had been there – anything could have happened.’
She has called the rabbit Billy and adopted him.
The white ferrets were collected and were sent to the RSPCA’s Stubbington Ark but sadly, one was found to have been run over by a car in Middle Park Way.
Education officer at the park Kerry Bailey said every summer saw a spate of animals being abandoned at the park.
‘We just don’t want to be encouraging people to leave them here because they are not always easy to rehome,’ she said.
‘We all feel awful because we’re all animal people and can’t help but feel responsible if an animal is left with us.
‘But we just don’t have enough space.
‘We’re a small farm and we don’t want to be encouraging people to drop them off here.
‘If people are struggling for whatever reason, that’s when the RSPCA are there.’
She added: ‘It seems to be a bit of a coincidence that it’s always the summer holidays.
‘I suppose people have their fortnight away and if people can’t get someone to look after the pet they leave it here. It could also be because people are struggling as well.’
by JEFF TRAVIS