Bunnies aren't just for Easter: Hertfordshire rabbit rescue charity warns against gifting them

Credit: PA Images

A rabbit rescue in Hertfordshire is urging families not to buy bunnies as Easter gifts if they have not done proper research into their care.

Rabbit Residence, based near Royston, says although bunnies are cute, potential owners must be aware of the demands and expenses of caring for them.

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Bunnies have been handed over to Rabbit Residence since the start of the year

Potential owners are encouraged by the charity to take in rabbits as pairs and check that both have been neutered or spayed, otherwise it can lead to more litters and fighting amongst the bunnies.

If you would like a pair of rabbits, a good reputable rabbit rescue will have already bonded, already neutered pairs ready for adoption, this saves a lot of heartache.

Lea Facey, Rabbit Residence’s Manager

Female rabbits have a gestation of just four weeks and can even get pregnant only minutes after giving birth.

Just after Christmas, Rabbit Residence took in a rabbit called Joy, who was only a year old and had already given birth to three litters.

£1,000

The cost to the charity to neuter and re-home Joy and her seven babies

Credit: Rabbit Residence Rescue

Rabbit Residence said that families are also handing over rabbits to the charity after underestimating how destructive they can be, how expensive they are and how much space they need.

We often have to break the bad news to potential owners that the hutch they’ve bought is actually entirely inadequate for the rabbits they would like to adopt.

Lea Facey, Rabbit Residence’s Manager

The charity encourages potential rabbit owners to comply with the Rabbit Welfare Association’s recommendation for what a suitable hutch should provide:

  • A minimum of a 60 square foot base.

  • A secure and safe space for them to play in at all times.

  • Lots of toys such as tunnels and digging pits to play in.

They also encourage potential owners to read up on the cost of rabbits, as they need yearly vaccinations which means vets bills can be expensive.

Rabbit Residence Rescue offers advice on their website for anyone looking to welcome a pair of rabbits into their family.