Rabbits are increasingly given up, unwanted and uncared for, in the last few years.
The Scottish SPCA reported an alarming 40% increase in the number of rabbits given up by owners in Scotland over the past five years.
Scottish SPCA chief superintendent Mike Flynn said a staggering 766 rabbits across Scotland were rescued in 2012, while 548 rabbits were cared for in 2008.
“This year is proving to be very challenging as well, with 390 rabbits already rescued, and this worrying trend demonstrates why we need to raise awareness of the hardships many pet rabbits face,” he said. “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.”
He added 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.”
REHOME A BUNNY
It is Rabbit Awareness Week (15-21 July) and the Scottish SPCA encourage potential owners to consider a rescue rabbit rather than buy a new bunny from a shop.
“While we never encourage taking a pet on impulse, we currently have over 100 rabbits in our care looking for good, permanent homes,” Flynn said. “Anyone thinking of rehoming a rabbit should ensure they have the time, commitment and financial ability to provide a happy and healthy life.”
Rabbits are intelligent, sociable and can make fantastic family pets, but the charity advises parents and not children take responsibility for their welfare and pets should never be given on a whim or as a gift.
Call 03000 999 999 for more info on rehoming a rescue rabbit from the Scottish SPCA.