Give an Easter bunny paws for thought

Max the rabbit currently being cared for by a volunteer RSPCA fosterer.
Max the rabbit currently being cared for by a volunteer RSPCA fosterer.

Get your own Easter bunnies - and we don’t mean the chocolate ones - and you could find yourself some new friends for life.

In the run-up to Rabbit Awareness Week, from May 4 to 12, Scarborough and District’s RSPCA branch is appealing for volunteer fosterers and adopters of the furry critters.

But before you hop to it, local honorary secretary Lesley Waters has highlighted ownership responsibilities for anyone who might be considering taking on their own Bugs Bunny.

She said: “Statistically rabbits tend to be the worst looked after animal because they get forgotten in a cage.

“They’re highly social animals that suffer if kept on their own, so we prefer for there to be at least two of them together.

“They need a lot of looking after that people aren’t aware of.”

For would-be adopters, the RSPCA carries out free home visits to assess the potential suitability of a pet to a new home, and to discuss proper care of the animal.

In addition, the charity is also encouraging more volunteers to apply as fosterers to help provide temporary support for pets left in the RSPCA’s care.

Ms Waters added: “We’re always looking for volunteers that can foster rabbits, plus hamsters and mice.

“We provide the hutch, run and food and they look after them until we can find a new permanent home.

“We could take more animals on but we need more fosterers as we’re having to turn down requests.”

Rabbit Awareness Week was created as an annual event, where vets, pet retailers, welfare charities and manufacturers work together to educate the pet-owning public about proper rabbit care and welfare.

During the week, the RSPCA is once again set to offer free rabbit health checks.

For more information, or to find out about how to foster or adopt a pet, contact the Scarborough and District RSPCA branch on (01723) 369804.

Did you know?

• Rabbits’ teeth never stop growing. They won’t be able to tell you they have toothache, so it’s the responsibility of owners to give food that will naturally grind down the teeth, to avoid gum problems and suffering.

• Diet, accommodation, social and health aspects should all be taken into account if you are thinking of adopting or fostering rabbits.

• The RSPCA microchips and neuters all the rabbits it takes in. When rehoming a rabbit with another, the charity will check suitability through a ‘test run’.