Don't dump the Easter bunny!
This Easter we're urging owners to do their research as we're seeing an influx of abandoned rabbits.
Figures show that we see around 800 abandonment complaints for rabbits each year. So far in 2018 there have been 198 rabbits abandoned since January. Therefore we're raising awareness about the plight of abandoned bunnies as Easter approaches.
Rabbits are one of the most neglected pets in UK
Dr Jane Tyson, our rabbit welfare expert, said:
Rabbits are arguably one of the most neglected pets in Britain despite being much-loved by many. Loving pet owners will understand a rabbits complex needs, but unfortunately some of the common misconceptions about housing and diet are still prevalent today.
Sadly it could be this lack of knowledge about their needs which leads to so many rabbits being abandoned and coming into our care. Bunnies may look cute but their needs are very complex and it’s important to do lots of research before buying or adopting pet rabbits to ensure that you can meet all their needs.
Rabbits being dumped around Britain
In 2017, we investigated 2,428 complaints of neglect about rabbits and more than 2,000 bunnies were rescued by us last year.
Abandoned in Regents Park
Rabbits like Daisy and Primrose, two mini lop girls, who were abandoned in a hutch in Regents Park, London, in February.
The pair had been dumped without food or water in very cold conditions, and were lucky to have survived.
They were collected by an inspector and brought into the care of our Middlesex North West and South Hertfordshire branch, where they're now looking for their forever home.
Two rabbits in a plastic box on a roundabout
Two unneutered males were also abandoned near Enfield retail park on the side of the roundabout on the A10 in Harlow.
They were found by a passing motorist in an open topped plastic box on Thursday, March 15, at about 9.45am off River Way.
The New Zealand white rabbits are not suffering from any injuries and appear healthy though they're quite timid and will need some time to settle in and get used to being handled, before being ready for rehoming.
We're now appealing for information.
Large cardboard box left with 25 rabbits and newborns
Just a couple of days later in Sheffield there were 25 rabbits, including 20 newborn babies, abandoned in a large cardboard box in Gleadless on Saturday, March 17.
Some of the bunnies had infected eyes and others had wounds from fighting. Sadly nine of the newborn babies died. The rest of the rabbits are being cared for and will be rehomed when they're ready.
Anyone with any information about any of these abandonments should contact our inspectorate appeal line on 0300 123 8018.
Thinking of buying a bunny this Easter?
Many rabbits in our centres are there as a result of abandonment and neglect. If you're thinking of buying a rabbit why not give ours a second chance at a happy home.