Scottish SPCA issues Easter bunny warning
The Scottish SPCA is advising people not to buy rabbits as Easter gifts for fear of a surge in abandonments.
Scotland’s animal welfare charity is warning that a rabbit is for life, not just for Easter, and says it will not be rehoming any rabbits from any of its animal rescue and rehoming centres over the Easter weekend to avoid people doing so on a whim.
Scottish SPCA Animal Rescue and Rehoming Centre superintendent Sharon Comrie said last year the charity rescued a staggering 668 pet rabbits across Scotland, and this year 121 rabbits have already been taken in.
“People should not buy rabbits on impulse and should make an informed decision by learning about rabbit care first,” she said.
“Pets are not toys and should never be given on a whim.
"There are lots of loving rabbit owners who treat their pets like one of the family and give them all the care and attention they need but sadly this isn’t true in all cases.
“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.
“We have come across many cases where rabbits have been left with horrifically overgrown teeth and nails. Rabbits need hay to gnaw on to keep their teeth in good condition, as well as regular nail trimming.”
Instead of buying a rabbit this Easter the charity is asking people to consider sponsoring a space at its shelter by helping to cover the costs of food and vet treatment for a number of rabbits year round.
Those who are sure they can commit to care for a rabbit, are still encouraged to consider rehoming one of the animals in its care after Easter Monday,
"Rabbits are highly intelligent and sociable animals who can make fantastic family pets, though we strongly advise parents that they and not their children need to take responsibility for their welfare,” Comrie added.