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Scottish SPCA voice concerns after influx of rabbits to their care

By Alan Beresford

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Blueberry (left) and Kiwi and just two rabbits of nearly 2000 currently in the care of the Scottish SPCA. Picture: Scottish SPCA
Blueberry (left) and Kiwi and just two rabbits of nearly 2000 currently in the care of the Scottish SPCA. Picture: Scottish SPCA

The Scottish SPCA is seeking new homes for rabbits in their care as their centres deal with an influx of the animals.

The charity is currently caring for 81 rabbits across Scotland and, since 2020, the charity has taken in 1816 bunnies, with around 87 per cent of those arriving needing some form of veterinary treatment.

Many of the rabbits who find themselves at the Scottish SPCA are also pregnant. Since 2020, the charity’s centres have welcomed 299 baby bunnies born in their care.

Sadly, although these animals quickly arrive at the centres, they are often difficult to rehome and remain in the charity’s care for a number of months.

Scottish SPCA rehabilitations operations lead, Rachael Maclean, said: “We currently have a lot of rabbits in our care.

“It’s hard to say why so many of these animals end up at our centres. However, we suspect that often they seen as an ‘easy’ pet and purchased for a child.

“In reality, rabbits are incredibly complex and social animals who need a lot of care, exercise and enrichment to stay happy and healthy.

“We would encourage anyone thinking of bringing a rabbit into their home to consider adopting. We have so many to choose from that we’re sure we can find the right fit for most homes.

“We have lots of single rabbits, some of whom are neutered, who could be bonded to an existing rabbit. Anyone looking to adopt a rabbit as a companion should make sure they follow proper introductions and have space available if the pair don’t get along.

“If you’re a new rabbit owner, and daunted by the prospect of bonding rabbits, many of our rabbits are already bonded into pairs or trios.

“Anyone who is interested in adopting a rabbit but has questions or concerns should give their local centre a call on 03000 999 999 or pop into centre reception for a chat with our team.

“Blueberry and Kiwi are a pair of young male bunnies who have been our Aberdeenshire centre for 28 days.

“Blueberry (black) is the quiet boy who will observe us prior to approaching whereas Kiwi is more confident and loves to explore his surroundings. They do like to stick together as a pair, we feel it gives them more confidence and security.

“They are still very tiny and have a lot more growing to do. We'd be looking for someone who can give them plenty of space like a spare bedroom where they can do as much zoomies and binkies as they wish.

“These animals are so much more complex than many people give them credit for and have amazing personalities. We’d really love for them to find their forever homes.”

All rabbits available for adoption can be viewed and applied for on the Scottish SPCA website here: https://www.scottishspca.org/rehome/

Advice on what to consider before rehoming a rabbit can be found here: https://www.scottishspca.org/advice/domestic/rabbits

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