Over 100 rabbits were removed from a Perth home over the past two days, with the RSPCA calling for urgent donations to help with their care.
The rabbits were stacked in cages, boxes, birdcages and even laundry baskets, cramped and distressed, with some needing urgent care for heat stress.
Working with SAFE Perth, Romeo’s Rabbit Rescue and Saving Thumpers, all rabbits have now been relocated to better living conditions, 69 of them here at the RSPCA’s Animal Care Centre in Malaga.
The situation and the sheer number of rabbits, many of whom are still babies, had become out of control for the northern suburbs couple who agreed to surrender them.
RSPCA WA’s Executive Manager Animal and Enforcement Operations, Hannah Dreaver, said the challenge now was to care for the rabbits, and
make sure their breeding days were over.
“It’s going to cost a lot of money, in a very short space of time,” Hannah said.
“They’re in bigger cages with clean straw and plenty of good food and fresh water – now we start the task of having each one vet checked for issues such as ringworm, medicating those who need it and of course, sterilising, microchipping, vaccinating and housing every single one.”
“Everything about that costs and it’s likely many of the rabbits are pregnant so we’ll have even more mouths to feed and medical procedures to carry out.”
“All in all we estimate the 69 rabbits will be with us for an average of three months and total costs for staffing and care will be around $30,000.”
RSPCA WA relies on the community for most of the money it needs to carry out vital animal protection work. We also acknowledge the other rescue groups involved rely on community donations and encourage people to support them too.
The RSPCA was alerted to the potential welfare situation of the rescued rabbits by a member of the public who had answered an ad and gone to the home to buy one of the animals.
“This is a timely warning for rabbit owners to get their pets sterilised,” Hannah said.
“This couple started out with 4 rabbits just 2 years ago! Don’t trust assurances you are buying 2 males or 2 females because young rabbits are notoriously hard to sex and mistakes are common.
“A lot of people see rabbits as easy care, set and forget pets. They’re not, they need care and attention.
“To see our staff and the volunteers work tirelessly through the heat of the last two days to safely bring these rabbits into care makes me really proud of the work we do, but also sad that this situation was allowed to happen and rabbits have suffered as a consequence.”