When Tim Pender took his three pet ferrets – Joy, Grace and Jason – into his local pub every week for four years, he thought they were popular, cuddly attractions for his fellow drinkers.
But much to the 57-year-old’s disbelief, the animals’ “pungent smell” has led to him being expelled from his favourite boozer, the Old Coastguard in Mousehole, Cornwall.
Pender said that the pub’s decision to banish him and his furry friends was “totally unfair” and argued that the pub still allows customers to bring in their pet dogs, but will not permit him to bring in his ferrets.
He added that it was a "big shock" and how he felt "physically sick and upset" when the manager followed him outside and demanded him not to come back with his ferrets anymore.
The former soldier says the three ferrets have long dined with him on his lap or on a lead and added that he needs them to help him leave the house each day because he’s agoraphobic.
But Edmund Inkin, one of the owners at the Old Coastguard, defended his decision to bar Pender and his pets after customers told him they were not willing to eat at the pub anymore because of their smell.
Inkin added that the ferrets pose a "health and hygiene" risk and explained that the decision for the ferrets to be expelled was one taken after much thought.
Since his exclusion, Pender is now drinking with his ferrets in the Kings Arms in the neighbouring village of Paul where he says the ferrets have received a warm welcome.