Escapee Clitheroe ferret ends up in Wigan

Cassie Owen with her ferrets. Gypsy is on the right and Fig is on the left. (s)
Cassie Owen with her ferrets. Gypsy is on the right and Fig is on the left. (s)

We’ve heard of Puss in Boots’ adventures to London in the fairy tale, but how about ferret Gypsy’s 50-mile round trip to Wigan?

The one-year-old ferret escaped from his Clitheroe home and was only relocated – 25 miles away in Wigan – thanks to the help of social networking site Facebook, a pet shop and a man who performs an Elton John tribute act who found the straying ferret while out running.

Elton John tribute act Dean Torkington. (s)

Elton John tribute act Dean Torkington. (s)

To the delight of her animal-loving owner Cassie Owen (32), Gypsy was returned home to Riverside, Low Moor, after she posted messages about her missing ferret on Facebook.

Cassie, a night care assistant at the Abbeyfield care home in Union Street, Clitheroe, explained how she was devastated when Gypsy absconded from her cage.

Cassie had been playing with her on the Friday before the May Day Bank Holiday weekend and had put Gypsy and her other ferret, Fig, back into their cage.

“I think my dogs must have helped them escape,” explained a bemused Cassie. “We later found out she had gone over the wooden bridge on the back road to Waddington and jumped out on a runner.

“She’s so friendly and loves people, I’ve hand reared her since birth, so she must have jumped out on this runner to play.”

The runner, Dean Torkington (52), who has a caravan at Edisford Bridge, realised Gypsy must be a pet and flagged down a car to take him home before making inquiries at Ideal Pet Stores in Moor Lane, Clitheroe, where he thought she may have been bought from.

After leaving his details at the pet shop he subsequently gave Gypsy to a friend, a sound technician, who he knew kept chinchillas and would have a cage at his Wigan home.

Cassie was devastated and posted messages on Facebook in the hope someone had found Gypsy.

And, in a stroke of luck, someone who had been in the pet shop when Dean spoke to owner Raymond Briggs on the phone got in touch.

Cassie immediately contacted the pet shop where Raymond’s wife, Carol, was only too happy to give her Dean’s phone number.

“I’m just so glad to have got her back, as is her little ferret friend Fig,” said Cassie. “I’m hoping this trip has satisfied Gypsy’s wanderlust and she never leaves home again.”

Dean, who travels the country with his Elton John tribute act and the Legends of Rock extravaganza, said he is glad there had been a happy ending to the tale.

“We were going to take her on the road with us as the band mascot,” Dean joked.