THE RSPCA is seeing an influx of rabbits and other small pets coming into our care as their owners can no longer care for them.

In the last three months (January 2021 to March 2021) we’ve received reports about 150 abandoned rabbits, 78 dumped guinea pigs and 51 abandoned hamsters.

There were also 2,528 abandoned rabbits and other small pets reported to our cruelty line since the lockdown began in March 2020.

This is a figure that doesn’t even include the unreported cases so there will be a lot more.

With a huge surge in interest for pet ownership during the lockdown, we’re concerned that some people may be buying pets on impulse.

There’s typically a spike in families wanting to buy or rehome rabbits over Easter so we’re urging owners to please do their research before committing to a pet.

This Easter we were urging people not to buy a rabbit, or any pet, on an impulse as sadly many people may not realise what is involved in caring for them.

After Easter the novelty has worn off for most owners and they can’t cope with their little animals.

Small doesn’t necessarily mean easy.

Rabbits need constant care and attention and although they are quite independent they are a commitment.

We’re already beginning to see the impact of the lockdown with owners struggling to care for their small pets.

We’d always ask prospective owners to please do their research and make sure they have the time, money and resources to be able to care for that animal for the rest of their lives.

Dr Jane Tyson, OUR rabbit and rodent expert RSPCA