As we move on from the excitement of a long weekend and lots of chocolates, the legacy of Easter continues for rescues around the country. Every year, rescue centres big and small become inundated with Easter bunnies – impulsively bought without consideration of their needs. Get Set Pet’s local rescue DBARC (keep an eye out for more from them soon!) have 12 rabbits in need of homes at the time of writing this, ranging from lops to lionheads. Take a look at some of their beautiful bunnies below:
But they’re not just pretty faces. Dr Jane Tyson, RSPCA’s rabbit welfare expert, explains: “Rabbits do have complex needs, they’re not easy to care for, they’re not cheap to care for. That’s something I don’t think everybody appreciates when they take on rabbits.”. Many people see rabbits as easy pets, especially for children, but the reality is that if you’re not ready for a dog, you’re not ready for a rabbit.
Rabbits, which typically live for 8 to 12 years, are one of the most neglected pets in Britain. In 2021 alone, almost 1,000 more rabbits were classed by the RSPCA as neglected with a total of 5,451, up from 4,544 the year before. Unfortunately, this is due to massive misinformation regarding rabbit care and costs. As well as living as long as dogs, vet costs and the price of their ongoing care can come close to that of a canine. For a rabbit to properly thrive, they need more than just life in a hutch, and require regular booster vaccines to protect against Myxomatosis, R(V)HD1, and R(V)HD2.
With this in mind, rabbits can be one of the most rewarding pets and are highly intelligent animals. Not only can they be trained to use a litter tray, they can also be trained to come when called, give kisses, high-five, and much more. In my experience, every rabbit has a unique personality from sweet and shy to playfully bossy. One rabbit I used to work with even learnt that picking up her ball in her mouth and throwing it at me meant I would throw it for her to chase!
I will always recommend having a rabbit that can free roam indoors, as you would a cat or dog, where possible. This means they can bond even quicker with you as well as engage their mind to the fullest as they sniff out every corner of your house and hop from room to room. If a rabbit hopping around your home isn't feasible, supervised playtime indoors and in your garden will still work well for a happy, healthy rabbit. There are many great resources online for tips on care and training, so remember to read up before you bring home your bun!
If you’re interested in getting a rabbit, please consider adopting as rescues are bursting with bunnies needing homes. Reach out to your local rescues or search the RSPCA website for more information and they’ll find the right rabbit for you!
Written by Anna Reed - Customer Services and Marketing Assistant