20 per cent increase in abandoned rabbits in Scotland

There has been a 20 per cent rise in the number of rabbits being abandoned by their owners in Scotland over the last five years.

bunnies

Scotland’s animal welfare charity, the SPCA, is now urging people to think very carefully before buying a bunny.

The number of abandoned, unwanted and neglected bunnies has steadily increased with 669 rabbits being rescued in 2015, up from 555 in 2010.

As annual Rabbit Awareness Week kicks off on Monday, the charity is encouraging existing and would be owners to consider taking a rescue rabbit rather than buying a new bunny from a shop.

Anna O’Donnell, manager of the charity’s rescue and rehoming centre in Cardonald said: “This year is proving to be very challenging as well and this worrying trend demonstrates why we need to raise awareness of the hardships many pet rabbits face.

“There are many excuses as to why people are giving up their pet rabbits, the main reason being that their children have got bored of them.

“Although there are lots of loving rabbit owners who treat their pets like one of the family and give them all the care and attention they need, sadly this isn’t true in all cases.

“Some rabbits arrive in our care in a terrible state having been denied basic nutrition and veterinary attention, while others are sadly forgotten pets children have grown tired of.

“Thankfully, the severe cruelty cases are in the minority. The biggest issue is rabbits being put in a hutch and left at the bottom of the garden, with many enduring a life of solitude and boredom. “Often the only interaction they have is a brief visit from their owner to bring food and water. Many owners even find this to be a chore and it is these rabbits which tend to be dumped outdoors or handed into one of our rescue centres unwanted.

“While we never encourage taking on a pet on impulse, we currently have rabbits in our care looking for good, permanent homes.

“Anyone thinking of rehoming a rabbit should ensure they have the time, commitment and financial ability to provide a happy and healthy life. We’d be delighted to welcome potential owners along to our rescue centre to meet the rabbits we have waiting for a fresh start in life and loving new homes.”

For more information about rehoming a rescue rabbit call 03000 999 999 or visit
scottishspca.org/rehoming.

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