Animal charity ‘at breaking point’ after rabbit crisis throughout the country

Thornberry Animal Sanctuary has appealed to the public for urgent help as it is ‘bursting at the seams’.

Founded in 1988, the North Aston centre is calling on the public to help raise funds to ensure the rabbits are safe and secure. 

Laura Skiba, a small animal carer at the centre, said: “There are so many rabbits out there who need our help but we are completely full, we’re bursting.

“When lockdown started it got crazy – people wanted something to do and company and see rabbits as an easy pet.”

The centre looks after cats, dogs, rabbits and horses as well as many other small animals  and is finding the waiting list is becoming unmanageable.

Rabbit Welfare Association Fund states that rabbits are among the most neglected pets spending most of their days confined to a hutch.

Miss Skiba said: “A lot of people don’t realise rabbits need to be stimulated and play in a grass area of more than two metres.”

Just £10 could go a long way to providing a rabbit a space at Thornberry while waiting for its forever home.

Bethany Rutt, the marketing coordinator at Thornberry, said: “We get no money from the government and rely on grants and trusts.

“We are lucky we get a lot of support through legacies from people who are long time supporters of the centre.”

The rescue centre has sites based on a farm at Ravenfield and Todwick Road, Dinnington but is still struggling with the number of rabbits needing rehoming.

Abbie Mycroft, a rabbit owner, said: “Rabbits are wonderful pets but they are more difficult to look after than other pets because they have complicated social structures.”

The environmental scientist added: “The issue is I think people have a misconception about what rabbits need until they get them home and realise they need to bunny proof their house, toilet train them, groom them regularly and make sure they are eating every day.”

The centre deals with any medical or behavioural issues and tries to match them to their perfect home.

The centre is also looking for volunteers to help them build the enclosures at volunteers@thornberryanimalsanctuary.org.

Written by Larissa Hurt

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