Rabbits found dumped in box in Bishop Auckland as RSPCA reports rising number of abandoned animals

Two rabbits, one a white female with overgrown teeth and the other a brown male, were abandoned. Credit: RSPCA

Rabbits have been found dumped in a box in a County Durham field as the number of abandoned animals rises.

Two rabbits, one a white female with overgrown teeth and the other a brown male, were found on a green behind some houses in Bishop Auckland on 10 May.

A member of the public who spotted the animals behind some houses flagged down RSCPA inspectors to help rescue them.

Inspectors Emma Stainthorpe and John Lawson were in the area to attend another rescue involving 26 rabbits.

Emma said: “The white rabbit is a female and her teeth were severely overgrown.

"Sadly rabbits can be prone to having trouble with their teeth and they can need regular vet appointments to keep them in check.

“If they get bad this can cost a lot of money which may be one of the reasons they have been abandoned.

“The brown male rabbit fortunately seems in good health.

“I took them straight to a vet to be checked over and they are now being looked after by an RSPCA colleague while they recover.

“Sadly we are seeing more and more animals - and particularly rabbits - being abandoned at the moment."

Rabbit teeth grow continuously throughout their lives and need wearing down to keep them the correct length and shape, overgrown teeth can be very painful for them.

Eating a diet that is high in hay and/or grass can help with this.

The female rabbit had severely overgrown teeth which is likely to have been causing it a lot of pain. Credit: RSPCA

The RSPCA is seeing a year on year rise in some animals coming into its care.

Amid the rising cost of living, the charity said they took in 344 rabbits in the first four months of 2022 compared with 192 in the same period last year. 

People thinking of getting an animal are being urged by the RSPCA to ensure they have the time, money and commitment to look after them properly.

The organisation is also calling for people who are struggling with vet costs to contact them for help rather than abandoning their pets.

If anyone recognises the rabbits in the box they are asked to call Inspector Emma Stainthorpe on the RSPCA appeal line 0800 123 8018. 

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