The Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (DSPCA) has expressed ‘serious concern’ after experiencing a ‘huge increase’ in the number of pet rabbits and other small pets handed over to its shelter in Rathfarnham in recent months.
More than three times the usual number of rabbits have been donated to the animal welfare charity this year, along with an increase in the number of other small animals such as guinea pigs, gerbils and ferrets filed, most often because the owners “lost interest”. taking care of them”.
Some owners ran out of time or did not initially research the commitment and complex needs of caring for small pets before choosing to bring them into their homes.
A small animal named Violet recently arrived at the DSPCA in “a terrible condition with severe, painful mats all over her body.”
The animal was in a state of distress as she was “covered in her own excrement and her tail and bones were badly injured”.
The DSPCA veterinary team ‘worked hard to save her and after weeks of care she is now ready to find a loving home’.
Suzanne McGovern of the DSPCA said Violet’s story was “a heartbreaking story and the pain and suffering she endured could easily have been avoided”.
“Rabbits and other small pets may not be as common as a dog or cat for a pet, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need daily care. They’re a wonderful addition. to any family, but have specific needs which we urge you to consider when choosing to adopt one,” Ms McGovern said.
The DSPCA’s consumption of small animals has tripled since 2019 and so far in 2022, more than 173 pet rabbits have arrived at the shelter.
There is a long waiting list of owners wishing to return their rabbits.
“When choosing to have a pet, be a responsible owner and do your homework before committing. Make sure all family members are educated and understand what is needed to care for them , also taking into account the associated costs,” Ms McGovern said.
“We have some beautiful rabbits here right now looking for homes, they are neutered and ready to meet their new families.”