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Charity News

A disabled pet bunny recently became the 1,000th rabbit to be rescued by Scotland’s only registered rabbit rescue charity.

The young rabbit lost his front paw during birthing complications and has been nicknamed “Adam Hills” after C4’s The Last Leg comedian.

Fairly Beloved Rabbit Care, who began rescuing domestic rabbits in December 2010, are now preparing Adam for his forever home through their adoptions process.

Heather Thomson, one of the charity’s Adoptions Managers and Adam’s foster carer, explains their hopes for Adam’s future.

“Company is really important for rabbits so we have already bonded Adam with another young rabbit who entered the rescue at the same time, who we have nicknamed Josh Widdicombe.”

The charity continues to seek new adoptive homes for Adam and Josh, as well as the numerous other rabbits in the charity’s care.

Rabbits continue to be the most abandoned, neglected and misunderstood pet in the UK, with recent estimates suggesting over 67,000 rehomed through rescue charity’s every year and several thousands more privately rehomed through friends, family, social media and classifieds.

“Rabbits are very much the unheard pet,” says David Bell, founder and director of the charity. “Most people are surprised to learn all that is needed to provide an appropriate diet, space, company and stimulation.”

Fairly Beloved Rabbit Care was started by David and his wife Feona when they recognised there was a lack of rabbit welfare services in Glasgow. Relying on a team of volunteer foster carers and care assistants, the team is now provided rabbit rescue services throughout most of Scotland, including a recent rescue of rabbits from Aberdeenshire.

“There are other organisations that will rescue rabbits, but we are the only registered rescue charity in Scotland that specialises in rabbits only. They are more complex and specialist than people realise, and the dedication of our volunteers makes a massive difference in terms of meeting the full needs of the rabbits in our care.”

Research has shown that rabbits actually need a significant amount of space and should always be kept in pairs or small groups. Many of the hutches and cages available from pet suppliers fall short of the requirements of recommendations by the leading animal welfare charities including The Rabbit Welfare Association, PDSA and RSPCA.

“When we started the rescue we thought we would rescue around 12 rabbits a year” explains Feona Bell. “We now rescue over 200 per year, and we all still run the charity alongside our other work and family commitments too”.

As well as rescue services, the charity offers adoption, rabbit bonding, educational talks and care advice services too. They also rely heavily on volunteers and fundraising activities to keep the service running. For more information, or to begin the rabbit adoption process, visit their website at http://www.fairlybelovedrabbitcare.org.


17-25 June 2017 is Rabbit Awareness Week throughout the UK: a week where various animal welfare charities, rescues, pet stores and vet practices all get together to highlight rabbit welfare issues and promote these much loved and yet very much misunderstood pets.

RAW 2017 is all about #HopToHay, promoting the need for all rabbits to have an unlimited supply to fresh, quality feeding hay.

Fairly Beloved Rabbit Care, a Scottish Registered Charity dedicated to providing rabbit rescue, adoption, bonding and care advice throughout Scotland are firm believers that every rabbit needs the right diet, and we regularly see the impact of poor diets on rabbits as they enter the rescue.

Causing numerous conditions including dental disease and misalignment, digestion disorders and issues with underweight and overweight bunnies, there is a surprising number of rabbits entering the rescue described as "not keen on hay".  The reason is often that other part of their diet mean that they have no room for the healthier food.  For us, as they enter the rescue then, we have the difficult job of rehabilitating the rabbits on to a more suitable diet and often a series of expensive vet bills to correct the damage that's been done!

Following the success of last year's RAW T-Shirt campaign, we are launching two designs for this year's Rabbit Awareness Week: Bunny Cuddles and #HopToHay, the RAW campaign hashtag.

All the money raised from the sale of our t-shirts throughout the RAW 2017 campaign will be used directly to support the charity's funds to help pay our ongoing vet bills. Each rabbit in the rescue typically costs us around £100 to prepare for adoption: vaccinations & neutering costs. However, many of the rabbits also have additional care needs costing the charity much more.

We therefore do not make any profit from any of our rabbits, and your support through this campaign will ensure we are able to continue the work we do, and help towards ensuring rabbits in Scotland get their chance to #HopToHay.

Buy Your T-Shirts Now

Our RAW 2017 T-Shirt designs are available to purchase until 28 June 2017, and each design is available in Unisex, Ladies and Kids t-shirt and hoodie styles too!

Design 1: Bunny Cuddles

Design 2: #HopToHay

Design 1: Orange Bunny Butt Design Design 2: Purple Bunny Butt Design

BUY BUNNY CUDDLES DESIGN

BUY #HOPTOHAY DESIGN

 

Both designs available in white, purple or orange garments.  T-shirts, hoodies and sweatshirts available.  Sizes from Toddler through to Adult.  Prices from £14 to £25 each.

Today we had an unannounced visit from Scottish SPCA inspectors following a concern report that had been submitted to them about cramped conditions, smelly hutches and rabbits being forced to sleep in their own faeces.The inspectors are satisfied with the level of care at The Warren, and were pleased to see the level of security and the log/diary maintained to support the rabbits care provision. They have advised that there are no grounds to the complaint and no further action will be taken.

It is always upsetting and challenging when your hard work is challenged in this way. It's not clear if the report was an attempt to be malicious or following genuine concern for welfare of rabbits in our care.  However, whilst I am happy that we continue to provide adequate levels of care for all the rabbits within FBRC, I am always keen to hear suggestions for ways we can further improve the care we provide at The Warren and within the foster care network.

In recent years we have made significant adjustments throughout our services following feedback and suggestions from volunteers and supporters. I am committed to reviewing our care standards on an ongoing basis. We will always be constrained by funds and practicalities, but we will give all serious suggestions due consideration.

It is also worth remembering that the care standards within the rescue are a team effort, and all our volunteers share my passion and motivation to provide the best we possibly can for rabbits in need. With this in mind there is always room for improvement. With your help, support and encouragement FBRC can do amazing things for rabbit welfare in Scotland.

If you have any concerns about the level of care within any aspect of the rescue, or simply have some suggestions as to how we can make things better, please do not be shy to approach us – we will be genuinely grateful for your input.

Staff at Pets at Home in Irvine are celebrating with Fairly Beloved Rabbit Care after they raised over £2500 for the rabbit-dedicated rescue charity.

During December, Support Adoption For Pets held their annual Christmas fundraising appeal with Pets at Home stores where customers were asked to donate 50p to buy a Christmas dinner for a rescue pet in need. The kind-hearted Customers of the Irvine store donated over 10,000 dinners and in doing so raised over £5000, half of which was presented to Fairly Beloved Rabbit Care.

David Bell, the charity’s co-founder says “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Pets at Home in Irvine and are overwhelmed at the dedication of the staff and the generosity of the customers in the local area. Our volunteers were also in-store during December, including Christmas Eve, to raise vital funds and to answer rabbit related questions.  Donations like this are a welcome boost at what is traditionally a difficult time of year for fundraising.”

Lynsey Kermack, Pets at Home Assistant Manager says “The team here in Irvine are very proud of the work we do for Support Adoption and the amazing opportunities it provides to help local rehoming partners such as Fairly Beloved Rabbit Care. The charity do fantastic work raising awareness for rabbits and educating the public; but equally, the relationship that has developed between the store team and the charity is amazing. Everyone is keen to help out and get behind the work they do and this really showed during the Santa Paws appeal where we managed to raise over 10,000 dinners to help rescue pets. We look forward to the team at FBRC being back in store again soon and we at Pets at Home Irvine are happy to be supporting such a buntastic charity!”

Rabbits are the UK’s third most popular furry friend, but continues to be the most abandoned, neglected and misunderstood.  As a result Fairly Beloved Rabbit Care experience a very high demand for their services, which include rabbit rescue, adoption, bonding and care advice.

Dozens of local rescued rabbits are asking you to dig deep into your pockets as a new campaign for better rescue accommodation is launched.
 
Fairly Beloved Rabbit Care is ‘hopping’ for your support as they launch their new campaign this week, Bedrooms & Binkies.  The campaign seeks to raise enough funds to replace the aging and damaged hutches and runs throughout the rescue to make life for the rabbits a lot more pleasant.

The Glasgow based rabbit-dedicated rescue charity, with a number of foster carers operating within the local area and throughout Scotland, is urging animal lovers to get involved in a wide range of fundraising activities as they work towards replacing the equipment for over 40 foster carers throughout Scotland.

David Bell, the charity’s co-founder and rescue coordinator says, “The charity’s funds are focused on paying our vet bills every month, and so we have scraped by over the past five years by using the largest and best quality hutches we can from those that have been donated to us.  However, many commercially available hutches are simply too small and don’t meet our minimum size requirements so finding good quality large hutches and runs is incredibly difficult.”

As well as relying on donated equipment, the charity has found that many of the items offered to them are of a low quality and often need repaired or replaced after just a few months of use.

“Our volunteers always strive to offer the rabbits in the rescue the best possible experience as we prepare them for adoption.  It simply can’t be done using equipment that’s creaking at the seams and always needs patchwork repairs,” David continues, “The rabbits deserve so much better.”

Rabbits are the UK’s third most popular furry friend, but continue to be the most abandoned, neglected and misunderstood.  As a result Fairly Beloved Rabbit Care experience a very high demand for their services, which include rabbit rescue, adoption, bonding and care advice.

Since the rescue opened in December 2010, they have rescued over 800 domestic rabbits.  However, this number could have been significantly higher had the charity had more hutch space and foster carers available.  The demand for rabbit rehoming services is significantly higher than the available spaces within rescue services throughout the country.

Rhona Wilkie, Foster Care Coordinator for the charity, said: “I can’t wait to see happy hopping bunnies settling in to new hutches that are warm, safe and comfortable for them. Many of the rabbits entering the rescue have never known care like they will receive from their foster carers, and it will be great to see the standard of our equipment match that of our dedicated volunteer team.”

Fairly Beloved Rabbit Care are also looking for a number of local joiners to build the hutches and runs and deliver these to the foster carers’ homes.  The customised equipment has all been designed with the rabbits needs in mind.  Click here for our supplier's information pack if you are a supplier that would like to get involved.

The campaign, which is expected to run for a number of months, needs to raise around £16,000 to purchase high quality hutches and runs for forty of its current foster carers.

To get the campaign off the ground, the charity has launched its own JustGiving campaign page and is working on plans for various fundraising activities over the coming months including fun runs, family days and much more.

David encourages anyone with a passion for animals or rabbits to consider getting involved.

“Run a 10k for us, sell your unwanted items at a car boot sale, save your spare change in our home collection box or simply donate on our website.  Every penny helps and the rabbits will be incredibly grateful!”.  Click here to sign up for your own fundraising activity to raise funds for the Bedrooms & Binkies campaign.

Some typical examples of the standards of hutches donated to the charity below.  We often have to refuse the offers of hutches as they just would not suit the needs of the rabbits, and so the charity has to stretch our funds to purchase cheap hutches which at least meet the basic needs of our rabbits.