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Woman's anger at RSPCA after ferret bites her hand.

Byline: Mike Lockley Staff Reporter mike.lockley@trinitymirror.com

A BIRMINGHAM woman ended up in hospital when she was savagely bitten by a ferret - after the RSPCA told her to try to catch it.

Collette Joicey called the animal charity after finding the injured furry animal running wild in her street.

She was told to catch it because they had no-one available - and they'd collect it in the morning.

Collette followed the RSPCA's advice to the letter - and was forced to go to Good Hope Hospital after the frenzied ferret repeatedly bit the hand that was trying to feed him.

Now the RSPCA has apologised - and said there aren't enough officers to go round immediately.

With her hand swathed in bandages, 53-year-old Collette, from Erdington, hit out at the organisation, which pledged to always be there for distressed animals. "They certainly weren't there for the ferret. I used to give money to the RSPCA, but not any more," she said.

Collette rang the RSPCA after the ferret was spotted in Fern Road. It was scared, surrounded by cats and sporting scratches on its face.

She said: "They told me they couldn't do anything and told me to catch it myself. They said they'd collect it in the morning.

"I thought it might be a friendly one, I didn't know," said Collette.

She was wrong. "The injury stung," she admitted, "and I went to Good Hope for jabs." Despite the attack, Collette eventually managed to get the furious ferret in a box.

The animal-lover, who owns four dogs, is still angry over being "abandoned" by the RSPCA.

"The ferret was stressed, had bites on its head and a swollen eye. I expected an awful lot more from the RSPCA because people donate millions and millions."

Collette took the ungrateful animal to The Veterinary Clinic, on Erdington's Chester Road. It has now been handed to a ferret rescue centre.

A worker at the clinic said: "Apart from scratches, he was in remarkably good condition, if a little timid."

A spokeswoman for the RSPCA said: "We are extremely sorry to hear this lady was bitten by the ferret while trying to catch it and we hope that she is recovering well.

"The RSPCA is exceptionally busy and every day we receive a call to our helpline every 20 seconds. We, however, have limited resources and there are just 324 RSPCA inspectors in England and Wales compared to 37,000 police officers.

This means we have just one inspector for every 110,000 people. As a result, in some instances we do ask callers to help us when dealing with confining certain animals - so that our officers can deal with emergency incidents of cruelty.

"However, we are reviewing the advice given in this instance and will be speaking to the person who dealt with the call, before advising them of the correct procedure."

See our video of the ferret at www.birminghammail.co.uk

CAPTION(S):

Collette Joicey shows her injured hand which was bitten by a ferret (inset) which she took to The Veterinary Clinic in Erdington
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Mar 4, 2014
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