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Last Updated: Thursday, 19 July 2007, 11:12 GMT 12:12 UK
Adopt-a-bunny scheme at pet shop
A pet rabbit
The SSPCA said rehoming of rabbits had been slow
A rabbit adoption scheme is to be launched at a pet shop amid a welfare charity's concerns over the growing numbers of pets being abandoned.

People will be able to take rabbits to Pets at Home in Inverness, which will then be offered for adoption.

The Scottish SPCA said it will encourage responsible ownership.

The charity said more bunnies than ever before were being dumped - in some cases still in their hutches by the side of a road.

Pets at Home said it will launch its adoption scheme - which will also include guinea pigs, gerbils, rats and hamsters - in Inverness later this month.

People are spending less time in the garden and in turn are less likely to consider a rabbit
Doreen Graham
SSPCA spokeswoman

It is part of the chain's charitable foundation project.

The SSPCA said Pets at Home will also put up a gallery of photographs in its Highlands store showing animals at the association's Inverness centre that require to be re-homed.

Doreen Graham, spokeswoman for the SSPCA, said pictures of pets shown on its website had worked well in finding them new homes.

Pets at Home said the adoption scheme had been rolled out at a number of its shops.

It will be available to people who are moving abroad, or find themselves in a situation where they can no longer look after their rabbit.

Wet weather

Mrs Graham said: "An adoption scheme is very sensible and we are supportive of anything like that.

"There is a huge problem with rabbits and we are seeing more of them abandoned."

She said there were cases of the animals and their hutches dumped and incidents where domestic bunnies were being released into the wild.

The SSPCA's Edinburgh centre has 40 rabbits and Dundee 20, but about five years ago they only dealt with about five at this time of year, Mrs Graham said.

She added: "I'm told re-homing of rabbits has been a lot slower because of the wet weather.

"People are spending less time in the garden and in turn are less likely to consider a rabbit."

Funds appeal for new pet centre
04 Jun 07 |  Highlands and Islands
Welfare warning on Easter bunnies
29 Mar 06 |  Scotland

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