Monday, 16 February 2015 08:03

RSPCA Reveals They Are Overrun With Rabbits Needing A Loving Home

Every month during 2013 and 2014 the RSPCA took in more rabbits than it rehomed.

The RSPCA is now urging people to consider adopting rabbits in need of homes before looking to pet shops.

In 2013 the RSPCA’s national centres took in 1,370 and rehomed 817 rabbits and in 2014 the charity took in 1,344 and rehomed 783*.

In September 2013 alone the RSPCA took in 242 rabbits and rehomed 53.

Unfortunately this has led to many rabbits - more than 80 just in the South of England - being housed in private boarding as our centres do not have enough space to house them.

Fifty of these rabbits came from the same household which has contributed to the crisis the RSPCA is now facing.

In 2013 the RSPCA received 1,051 calls to its emergency cruelty line about 2,209 domestic rabbits.

We collected 545 abandoned rabbits that same year and expect the figure to be more than 600 for 2014.

Darren Parrish, manager at the RSPCA South Godstone in Surrey said: “I know that as a region we have many rabbits in private boarding at the moment, and our rabbit rehoming is very slow right now as we have have a lot of giant breeds that are always harder to home due to their size.

“The Saturday after Christmas we had some new arrivals. A member of public found an abandoned box containing a mother rabbit and her four babies. They were lucky to be found as soon as they were as the box was taped up and with no breathing holes.”

RSPCA rehoming operations manager Abigail Moon said: “All these poor rabbits are in desperate need of a loving home.

“We aren’t sure why they are overlooked as they are very popular pets but people don’t realise you can adopt them from charities and so buy from pet shops.

“Animals rescued by the RSPCA make brilliant pets and we will microchip and neuter any rabbit before rehoming it. We will give you all the support and advice you need on caring for your new pet.”

RSPCA rabbit behaviour and welfare expert Dr Jane Tyson said: “Rabbits have very complex needs but they are very rewarding companions.

“Many rabbits come into our care as sometimes owners can fail to understand the responsibility they are taking on.

“We would always recommend you do plenty of research before buying a rabbit.

“Often rabbits do need a companionrather than being housed alone but unless you adopt an established pair this needs to be done gradually and carefully to avoid fighting.

“Our website has lots of information on diet and rabbit welfare in general for example you need to feed rabbits a bundle of hay as big as they are everyday as it is essential for dental and digestive health as well as keeping them busy and occupied.”

The RSPCA has a mixture of established pairs and animals looking for a companion in their care.

To see these and all the other animals in our care please visit rspca.org.uk/findapet

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