To mark International Rabbit Day this weekend, the RSPCA is highlighting the plight of unwanted rabbits.
Sadly, the animal welfare charity takes hundreds of unwanted rabbits into its centres each year, as owners often don’t realise the responsibility they are taking on.
RSPCA inspectors regularly collect dumped rabbits and the charity believes this is partly due to a lack of understanding around the amount of care rabbits need.
In 2017, the charity investigated 2,428 complaints of neglect about rabbits and more than 2,000 bunnies were rescued by the charity.
In the same year, the RSPCA received 874 abandonment complaints relating to rabbits – this works out as more than two complaints every day of the year.
RSPCA rabbit welfare expert Dr Jane Tyson, said: “Sadly rabbits are one of the nation’s most misunderstood animals. Lots of rabbits are still kept in small hutches without access to an area in which to exercise, many rabbits are housed alone instead of in pairs, and not all are having their nutritional needs met.
“For example, well-meaning owners think they are doing the right thing by buying muesli-based rabbit food but what rabbits actually need is a diet that is made up primarily of hay and/or grass. Eating hay and/or grass helps keep teeth and tummies healthy which can help avoid some of the problems that result in rabbits going to the vets.”
A pair of rabbits who were abandoned in the cold and wet on the bank of the River Mersey in January last year have been waiting for their forever home for one year and eight months.
The lionhead rabbits were soaked in their urine and left in a sodden box on the bank of the River Mersey in West Didsbury, Manchester.
The pair have grown up in RSPCA care on a healthy diet, which means they love hay and readigrass possibly even more than their veggies.
They would need to be able to go outside and need their own space to relax and could live with children. Most of all they would like to be adopted together.
If you would like to offer the pair a new home, please contact the Altrincham Cheshire branch on 01612 862503.