Pet owners in Angus are being urged to think carefully before buying a rabbit as more and more of the animals are being mistreated, neglected and forgotten about.
Scotland’s animal welfare charity, the SSPCA, is growing increasingly concerned at the record number of the animals arriving in their care.
As part of Rabbit Awareness Week, which runs from August 11-17, would-be owners in Angus and Tayside are being asked to consider taking on a rescue rabbit.
Chief Superintendent Mike Flynn said: “In 2013 our Angus-based rescue and rehoming centre took in close to 100 rabbits.
“This worrying figure demonstrates why we need to raise awareness of the hardships many pet rabbits face.
“Some rabbits arrive in our care in a terrible state having been denied basic nutrition and veterinary attention, while others are sadly forgotten pets children have grown tired of.
“Thankfully, the severe cruelty cases are in the minority.
“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.
“Often the only interaction they have is a brief visit from their owner to bring food and water.
“Many owners even find this to be a chore and it is these rabbits which tend to be dumped outdoors or handed into one of our rescue centres unwanted.
“While we never encourage taking on a pet on impulse, we currently have a number of rabbits in our care looking for good, permanent homes.”
Superintendent Flynn added: “Anyone thinking of rehoming a rabbit should ensure they have the time, commitment and financial ability to provide a happy and healthy life.”
The Scottish SPCA’s Angus Fife and Tayside Animal Rescue and Rehoming Centre is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.
For more information about rehoming a rescue rabbit, please call 03000 999 999 or visit scottishspca.org/rehoming.