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EDITIONS
 Tuesday, 14 January, 2003, 11:50 GMT
Bunnies face winter of discontent
Rabbits
Rascally: Rabbits make good pets
More than 130 bunny rabbits have been dumped in the north west by their owners, the RSPCA has revealed.

The charity said it believed many owners did not want to go out into their cold backyards during winter to look after the pets.

All the bunnies are now in need of caring homes, and the RSPCA said it was struggling to cope with the huge numbers.

And it is appealing for people to come forward from good homes to take in the homeless rabbits.

A rabbit
130 rabbits have been dumped

"When it is warm and the weather is nice, people are happier to go out to the back garden and clean out a rabbit hutch.

"But that doesn't seem to be the case during the colder days and nights of winter," said RSPCA north west superintendent Bill Cottingham.

"While there are many responsible and caring rabbit owners in the north west, who look after their pets in more than acceptable conditions, there are too many people who do not understand the commitment, time and money required to provide proper care."

'Good pets'

Last year the RSPCA launched a campaign in the north west to educate people how to look after rabbits properly.

In 2001 more than 600 bunnies were taken in for rehoming at the RSPCA's 24 centres in the north west.

Mr Cottingham added anyone who can take in a rabbit should contact one of their regional centres.

"Rabbits are very good pets for families, as long as people understand the commitment that they are taking on," he said.

"Looking after any animal is a rewarding experience but should never be entered into lightly."

See also:

28 Aug 02 | England
13 Aug 02 | England
11 Jul 02 | England
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