The RSPCA has revealed its centres across the country are being ‘overwhelmed’ with unwanted rabbits – with no one coming forward to offer them new homes.
In 2020, 672 rabbits went into the RSPCA’s care, and during 2021, 859 were taken in by the charity, an increase of 28%.
By mid-February this year, 88 rabbits have already been taken in across the country.
RSPCA rabbit welfare expert Dr Jane Tyson said: “Despite rabbits often being perceived as an ideal ‘starter pet’, they actually have very complex needs and are one of the most neglected pets in Britain. They also have long life spans of around 8-12 years so are a big commitment for a family.
“It means sadly the RSPCA deals with many calls about bunnies where they have been neglected or abandoned each year.”
Dr Tyson added: “When rabbits are bought on impulse, an owner may not realise how complex they are to care for and what a commitment caring for rabbits can be.
“Whilst they can be hugely rewarding pets full of personality, they also need lots of stimulation and – crucially – space to ensure their welfare needs are being met.”