Dozens of giant rabbits are looking for new owners, after being rescued by the RSPCA earlier this year. Can you help?
The 42 Flemish rabbits, with the largest weighing in excess of 8kg, were found in small, dirty hutches at an allotment in Ashington, Northumberland. Sadly, they were left to breed with one another by previous owners and were being 'bred for their meat'. Some of the rabbits have been taken home by staff due to a shortage of shelter space, while many others are still searching for their forever home.
"These poor rabbits were living in cramped and dirty conditions which would have been very unpleasant for them especially in the heat," says inspector Trevor Walker, who helped to care for the rabbits when they were taken in.
"Luckily a vet found they are all in good condition, one is on medication for weepy eyes and a wound on the back of his neck, but we hope they will find loving homes. They will make good companion animals as they have a nice temperament."
Trevor explained that sadly rabbits are becoming an increasing problem across the RSPCA, with many owners struggling to care for them amid the cost of living crisis.
He adds: "We would really urge people to do their research before taking on a pet and also to make sure you get your pet neutered at an early opportunity to prevent unwanted litters of animals — all of these rabbits will be neutered, microchipped and vaccinated before finding new homes.
"If anyone is concerned about the welfare of an animal they can ring the RSPCA on 03001234999."
The rabbits are currently being cared for in various shelters around the UK, but are now on the hunt for a loving new home. John Billany, the rehoming coordinator at RSPCA Northumberland West, said that the animals are best suited to more experienced rabbit owners.
"They are a big breed, as their name suggests, so they are probably suited to the more experienced rabbit owner who has had giants before," he told The Guardian. "They are nice rabbits, but they are just big, and potential owners need to know what they are doing and how to meet their needs."
All of the rabbits will be neutered, microchipped and vaccinated before they are found new homes.
For enquiries for the Flemish giants and other rabbits at Northumberland West, ring 07872 041733 or 07519 876 789 and at Great Ayton contact 0300 123 0743.
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