THINK Easter and for many of you fluffy chicks and bouncing bunnies will spring to mind.
But a volunteer at Warrington Animal Welfare has said companies who use those images do not realise the ‘negative effect’ they have and add to an increasing problem of abandoned rabbits.
The charity’s rabbit expert Tom Wrightson is calling on potential pet owners to consider carefully before choosing a rabbit this Easter and opt for a rescue animal rather than heading to a pet shop.
Tom added: “There is often a problem with abandoned rabbits after Easter as they’re an impulse buy until the novelty wears off and people underestimate the care, costs and needs of a rabbit.
“They’re a silent victim as they just sit in their hutch and don’t cry out when they’re being mistreated or neglected.
“People think they’re an easy and cheap option to cats or dogs but that’s not the case and we’re seeing more and more people buying rabbits from pet shops who don’t know what they’re doing.”
The charity, which is based at the former Cats Protection site off Slutchers Lane, is backing the Make Mine Chocolate campaign which is calling on owners to buy chocolate bunnies rather than the real thing.
The cause currently has 26 rabbits looking for new homes, including three who had been abandoned in a cardboard box, as well as a waiting list of people who cannot look after their pet anymore.
Tom added: “There’s a variety of reasons but it’s really frustrating when people say their child is bored of their pet rabbit.
“Ideally they should be kept in hutches six foot by two foot but the more space the better.
“They don’t want to be in a cage all day and 80 per cent of their diet should be hay with carrots and apples used more as a treat.
“My advice to anyone is to carefully consider whether you can properly look after a rabbit.”
Visit warringtonanimalwelfare.org.uk for more information.
Can you give these rabbits a good home?
Credit Gareth Kessell