Yeovil couple who feared eviction told they can keep pet ferrets
A Yeovil couple who feared they would be evicted if they did not re-home their pet ferrets have been told they are allowed to keep them.
Tanita Harding, 19, and Joshua Brown, 22, of Roping Road flats, received a letter last month from Yarlington Housing Group – which owns their home – to say they are in breach of their tenancy agreement by keeping ferrets.
The letter said the housing provider had received anonymous complaints about the animals, as well as reports of loud noises – such as shouting and doors banging – coming from the flat late at night.
But now, after a visit by a housing officer at Yarlington and a representative from the RSPCA, the couple have been told they can keep their pets.
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Miss Harding, a health care assistant, said: "The RSPCA lady said she was more than happy with the way they lived and said she was happier to see how we treated ours compared to how other people have theirs.
"We are very happy we can keep the animals but we are a bit concerned because we have been told we are not allowed any more pets after this. Ferrets are social animals, that's why we have two because human attention isn't enough.
"Ours are father and son so if one of them dies then the other will be lonely, and they can get depressed, so that concerns me a little."
The ferrets – called Nipper and Noodles – were bought around nine months ago. They are housed in a cage and are often taken out for walks in Ham Hill and other places.
The couple said they did not realise they had to ask permission to keep the pets as they were told they did not need it for a pet hamster.
Around 185 people joined a Facebook group calling for the ferrets to be allowed to stay with the couple.
Miss Harding added: "I'm so grateful for everybody's support. The past few weeks have been tough on both of us, not knowing what was going to happen."
A spokeswoman for Yarlington said: "Following a visit to the home of our tenants who recently asked for permission to keep ferrets, Yarlington has decided to grant them their permission as the RSPCA has deemed the animals well kept, docile and clean.
"Visits will be made on a regular basis when the permission will be reviewed and, if necessary, revoked. Yarlington assesses each application to keep pets on merit, and this decision does not set a precedent for all animals, as each will be evaluated on an individual basis and any special circumstances taken into account."