Recently in the news a large pet rabbit was found abandoned in a garden in the White City area of London.
The giant rabbit who weighed in at 5 kilos, was ultimately rescued by the pet charity Blue Cross. He had already managed to survive for a couple of nights after it seemed its owners had left the property without him.
A worried neighbour managed to catch the continental giant rabbit and looked after him overnight before taking him into the Hammersmith branch of the charity.
The veterinary nurses nicknamed the young rabbit, who could still grow to 7 kilos, Sir Pumphrey. Fortunately his health had been unaffected by his ordeal.
Veterinary Nurse Tracey Parnell has been reported as saying that "Sir Pumphrey was very lucky to have been found before he fell prey to a fox...He must have been terrified and confused to find himself all alone...He was very stressed when he first came in to us but has settled in well. He is a gentle giant, very affectionate and loves nose rubs."
"Leaving pets abandoned can put them in serious danger."
Sir Pumphrey has been moved to Southampton and is in a Blue Cross rehoming centre looking for a happy new home which will need lots of space.
If you are thinking of buying a pet rabbit then bear in mind that they can live for over ten years, so you will be making quite a commitment. You should do lots of research and buy a pair rather than an individual as they are much happier then. Please read Jamie’s articles about taking care of your pet rabbit and companionship
So what do you do if you need to re home your pet rabbit?
Pet rabbits are domesticated animals so must never be 'set free' in the wild. They simply won't survive. It is an offence to abandon an animal and carries serious consequences including being barred from keeping pets in the future. You should contact your local rescue centre or vet and they will either be able to take in your pet or at the very least give you good advice as to where you can get help with responsible re homing.
Advertising your rabbit is not ideal unless you carry out good checks on the suitability of the potential new owners and the home that your pet will have - and as this is often difficult advertising really needs to be the very last resort.
We have found a new rabbit rescue website called Save a Fluff which is a "place for rabbit rescues to unite online and list the bunnies they have up for adoption, helping them find permanent, loving homes." You can find them by clicking here