The last few months have seen a dramatic rise in the number of pet rabbits cast aside and abandoned in particularly harsh weather conditions, often left fending for themselves in a box or cage. Multiple reports from throughout the UK have suggested that an increasing amount of domesticated bunnies have been left in wild conditions as owners reach a level of desperation that causes them to abandoned their beloved pets.
A combination of the tough economy and the rise of rabbits being received as an unwanted Christmas gift are thought to be the reason behind the increase. Animal shelters have been struggling to cope with the rise in capacity throughout the winter months.
News stories from around the country have reported the discovery of domesticated rabbits from behind bins, outside animal centres and even next to cars in the hope that they will be spotted by passers-by.
Pregnant and Forgotten
For example, the Daily Post reported the discovery of a pregnant rabbit from outside a local shelter which had been left in the company of other bunnies in freezing cold conditions. This report is one of many from around the UK of our wonderful furry friends being left in vulnerable situations.
Many pet owners believe that domesticated rabbits will be able to adapt to their natural habitat, however this is not the case. These rabbits are often unaware of the potential dangers that the wild offers and therefore this usually has fatal consequences. Releasing them in this way is actually an offence.
The sharp increase has seen rescue centres struggle with the increasing demand, despite some previous owners abandoning their pets complete with wood shavings, water bottles and caging. The continuous rise means it’s more important than ever to think about turning to rescued rabbits as oppose to new-borns in order to give these forgotten, loveable creatures another chance for a good life.
For more information, contact your local animal rescue centre to find out how you can make a difference today.