Last Sunday was the first of this years Rabbit Care Days here at the Society for Abandoned Animals. We were offering complementary Rabbit health checks for all who attended with rabbits and had a vet performing low cost vaccinations in order to help the pet rabbits of Manchester be as healthy as possible.
The aim of the day was not only to help people who had been kind enough to adopt rabbits from us in the past but to help those who might not have otherwise taken their pets to see a vet. We managed to identify a number of minor health problems in rabbits that had never seen a vet before and potentially prevented those rabbits from developing serious health conditions.
An alarming percentage of the rabbits we saw were not neutered and were living alone. Their owners believed that as they were single rabbits that they did not have to be neutered as the risk of breeding was nonexistent. Many of these owners were shocked to hear about the health risks to domestic rabbits that have not been neutered, particularly with the high percentage of an unneutered female rabbit developing uterine cancer and unneutered males developing territorial aggression. We hope that by giving good advice endorsed by the Rabbit Welfare Association that we were able to help provide these rabbits with a better future and higher levels of welfare.
Other aspects of responsible rabbit ownership we were promoting included adequate accommodation size, rabbits as social animals and the possibility of keeping a rabbit as an indoor pet. Rabbits are still commonly seen as ‘disposable’ children’s pets with owners still believing that rabbits are cheap to keep and only live naturally for a few years.
The truth is that rabbits have been known to live into their teens and are notoriously expensive to keep, especially if they are taken twice yearly to a rabbits specialist vet. Rabbits are a big commitment and parents of children who want to adopt a rabbit should be fully prepared to take on the responsibility themselves when the children become bored of the commitment.
Hopefully last weekend we went some way to dispelling the myths surrounding domesticated rabbits and managed to improve the standard of welfare for a great number of local pet rabbits.
We also held games, stalls and even pony rides with our partner charity Urban Riderz to entertain all of our visitors, not just those with rabbits. One lucky visitor even won the grand prize of £25 of ‘Pet Life’ Vouchers!
The day was a fantastic success and as soon as we have the official figures in we will be letting you know via this blog our facebook and our twitter pages just how successful it really was!
A massive thank you goes out to all of the staff and volunteers who helped to make this day a fantastically enjoyable one for everyone!