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Charity News

Over the past week Fairly Beloved Rabbit Care have rescued a total of 33 rabbits in a case involving the dissolution of an Ayrshire based rescue charity.

Hoots Forever Homes contacted FBRC seeking support for rehoming the rabbits on 4th October 2017, and our team immediately began plans to offer assistance.  They had taken on a few rabbits earlier in the year, but due to some of the rabbits not being neutered this escalated into a situation where there were more rabbits than the charity could cope with.

We have since learned that Hoots Forever Homes is beginning proceedings to dissolve and all the animals within their care are now being rehomed or seized with support from Scottish SPCA.

On collection, we found that the rabbits were being housed in unsuitable, small hutches, living in large groups of 6 to 9 rabbits within each hutch.  Some of the younger rabbits were thin looking on collection.  On arrival back at The Warren, we found that many were very hungry and launched themselves to the food being offered to them.

The rabbits are now all within our care and housed in appropriate groups across our foster network.  Now enjoying large hutches and run space, or in some cases our new Bunny Sheds, the rabbits are now enjoying the level of care they deserve.

10 of the rabbits are known to already be neutered, thankfully.  However, the remaining 23 all require neutering, and there is some risk that some of the females may already be pregnant which we are monitoring closely.

All 33 rabbits will require both Myxo-RHD and Filvac (RHD2) vaccinations and microchipping prior to adoption too.

Two of the rabbits, Cardamom and Cilantro, are displaying significant symptoms of snuffles.  They have been separated from other rabbits and placed with one of our foster carers and are already undergoing appropriate treatment.  The other rabbits are also being monitored for any early symptoms of this.

Another one, Clove, sadly was covered in sores and has a significant abscess on his rear as a result of bullying from hutch mates whilst in Hoots Forever Homes care.  He is attending the vet for further assessment today.

Our priority as always is getting the rabbits safely cared for within our foster network, and beginning to get them prepared for their new forever homes.  After an initial settling period we will begin vaccinations and neuter ops.

With huge thanks to our network of vet partners who offer significant discounted treatment and consultations for the charity, we have estimated the cost for veterinary care and vaccinations as being in the region of £2,000 - £2,500.

In addition the foster care team now have a lot more mouths to feed and the impact on us covering day-to-day food and bedding costs is another consideration for us.

This was an unexpected and unplanned rescue, and forms part of a total 51 rabbits rescued in the past month!  Every rabbit entering the rescue always gets given a new rescue ‘nickname’ and October names are themed on Spices.

Thankfully we are setup in a manner that allows us to take on the responsibility of these rabbits and ensure the best levels of care possible to give them a better opportunity for a happy, and hopefully long life.

However, this additional financial burden comes at the start of the winter season which is often a difficult time of year for us in terms of increased financial pressure.  We had not anticipated this additional cost and are looking for your help.

If you can offer any financial support please consider donations or fundraising for us.  We have setup a Just Giving campaign below, or text SPCE33 £5 to 70070 to make a quick and very appreciated donation of £5.

Or why not pop in to see is us at our event in Silverburn on Saturday 14th October or Sunday 15th October 2017?

A disabled pet bunny recently became the 1,000th rabbit to be rescued by Scotland’s only registered rabbit rescue charity.

The young rabbit lost his front paw during birthing complications and has been nicknamed “Adam Hills” after C4’s The Last Leg comedian.

Fairly Beloved Rabbit Care, who began rescuing domestic rabbits in December 2010, are now preparing Adam for his forever home through their adoptions process.

Heather Thomson, one of the charity’s Adoptions Managers and Adam’s foster carer, explains their hopes for Adam’s future.

“Company is really important for rabbits so we have already bonded Adam with another young rabbit who entered the rescue at the same time, who we have nicknamed Josh Widdicombe.”

The charity continues to seek new adoptive homes for Adam and Josh, as well as the numerous other rabbits in the charity’s care.

Rabbits continue to be the most abandoned, neglected and misunderstood pet in the UK, with recent estimates suggesting over 67,000 rehomed through rescue charity’s every year and several thousands more privately rehomed through friends, family, social media and classifieds.

“Rabbits are very much the unheard pet,” says David Bell, founder and director of the charity. “Most people are surprised to learn all that is needed to provide an appropriate diet, space, company and stimulation.”

Fairly Beloved Rabbit Care was started by David and his wife Feona when they recognised there was a lack of rabbit welfare services in Glasgow. Relying on a team of volunteer foster carers and care assistants, the team is now provided rabbit rescue services throughout most of Scotland, including a recent rescue of rabbits from Aberdeenshire.

“There are other organisations that will rescue rabbits, but we are the only registered rescue charity in Scotland that specialises in rabbits only. They are more complex and specialist than people realise, and the dedication of our volunteers makes a massive difference in terms of meeting the full needs of the rabbits in our care.”

Research has shown that rabbits actually need a significant amount of space and should always be kept in pairs or small groups. Many of the hutches and cages available from pet suppliers fall short of the requirements of recommendations by the leading animal welfare charities including The Rabbit Welfare Association, PDSA and RSPCA.

“When we started the rescue we thought we would rescue around 12 rabbits a year” explains Feona Bell. “We now rescue over 200 per year, and we all still run the charity alongside our other work and family commitments too”.

As well as rescue services, the charity offers adoption, rabbit bonding, educational talks and care advice services too. They also rely heavily on volunteers and fundraising activities to keep the service running. For more information, or to begin the rabbit adoption process, visit their website at

Staff at Pets at Home in Irvine are celebrating with Fairly Beloved Rabbit Care after they raised over £2500 for the rabbit-dedicated rescue charity.

During December, Support Adoption For Pets held their annual Christmas fundraising appeal with Pets at Home stores where customers were asked to donate 50p to buy a Christmas dinner for a rescue pet in need. The kind-hearted Customers of the Irvine store donated over 10,000 dinners and in doing so raised over £5000, half of which was presented to Fairly Beloved Rabbit Care.

David Bell, the charity’s co-founder says “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Pets at Home in Irvine and are overwhelmed at the dedication of the staff and the generosity of the customers in the local area. Our volunteers were also in-store during December, including Christmas Eve, to raise vital funds and to answer rabbit related questions.  Donations like this are a welcome boost at what is traditionally a difficult time of year for fundraising.”

Lynsey Kermack, Pets at Home Assistant Manager says “The team here in Irvine are very proud of the work we do for Support Adoption and the amazing opportunities it provides to help local rehoming partners such as Fairly Beloved Rabbit Care. The charity do fantastic work raising awareness for rabbits and educating the public; but equally, the relationship that has developed between the store team and the charity is amazing. Everyone is keen to help out and get behind the work they do and this really showed during the Santa Paws appeal where we managed to raise over 10,000 dinners to help rescue pets. We look forward to the team at FBRC being back in store again soon and we at Pets at Home Irvine are happy to be supporting such a buntastic charity!”

Rabbits are the UK’s third most popular furry friend, but continues to be the most abandoned, neglected and misunderstood.  As a result Fairly Beloved Rabbit Care experience a very high demand for their services, which include rabbit rescue, adoption, bonding and care advice.

17-25 June 2017 is Rabbit Awareness Week throughout the UK: a week where various animal welfare charities, rescues, pet stores and vet practices all get together to highlight rabbit welfare issues and promote these much loved and yet very much misunderstood pets.

RAW 2017 is all about #HopToHay, promoting the need for all rabbits to have an unlimited supply to fresh, quality feeding hay.

Fairly Beloved Rabbit Care, a Scottish Registered Charity dedicated to providing rabbit rescue, adoption, bonding and care advice throughout Scotland are firm believers that every rabbit needs the right diet, and we regularly see the impact of poor diets on rabbits as they enter the rescue.

Causing numerous conditions including dental disease and misalignment, digestion disorders and issues with underweight and overweight bunnies, there is a surprising number of rabbits entering the rescue described as "not keen on hay".  The reason is often that other part of their diet mean that they have no room for the healthier food.  For us, as they enter the rescue then, we have the difficult job of rehabilitating the rabbits on to a more suitable diet and often a series of expensive vet bills to correct the damage that's been done!

Following the success of last year's RAW T-Shirt campaign, we are launching two designs for this year's Rabbit Awareness Week: Bunny Cuddles and #HopToHay, the RAW campaign hashtag.

All the money raised from the sale of our t-shirts throughout the RAW 2017 campaign will be used directly to support the charity's funds to help pay our ongoing vet bills. Each rabbit in the rescue typically costs us around £100 to prepare for adoption: vaccinations & neutering costs. However, many of the rabbits also have additional care needs costing the charity much more.

We therefore do not make any profit from any of our rabbits, and your support through this campaign will ensure we are able to continue the work we do, and help towards ensuring rabbits in Scotland get their chance to #HopToHay.

Buy Your T-Shirts Now

Our RAW 2017 T-Shirt designs are available to purchase until 28 June 2017, and each design is available in Unisex, Ladies and Kids t-shirt and hoodie styles too!

Design 1: Bunny Cuddles

Design 2: #HopToHay

Design 1: Orange Bunny Butt Design Design 2: Purple Bunny Butt Design




Both designs available in white, purple or orange garments.  T-shirts, hoodies and sweatshirts available.  Sizes from Toddler through to Adult.  Prices from £14 to £25 each.

Today we had an unannounced visit from Scottish SPCA inspectors following a concern report that had been submitted to them about cramped conditions, smelly hutches and rabbits being forced to sleep in their own faeces.The inspectors are satisfied with the level of care at The Warren, and were pleased to see the level of security and the log/diary maintained to support the rabbits care provision. They have advised that there are no grounds to the complaint and no further action will be taken.

It is always upsetting and challenging when your hard work is challenged in this way. It's not clear if the report was an attempt to be malicious or following genuine concern for welfare of rabbits in our care.  However, whilst I am happy that we continue to provide adequate levels of care for all the rabbits within FBRC, I am always keen to hear suggestions for ways we can further improve the care we provide at The Warren and within the foster care network.

In recent years we have made significant adjustments throughout our services following feedback and suggestions from volunteers and supporters. I am committed to reviewing our care standards on an ongoing basis. We will always be constrained by funds and practicalities, but we will give all serious suggestions due consideration.

It is also worth remembering that the care standards within the rescue are a team effort, and all our volunteers share my passion and motivation to provide the best we possibly can for rabbits in need. With this in mind there is always room for improvement. With your help, support and encouragement FBRC can do amazing things for rabbit welfare in Scotland.

If you have any concerns about the level of care within any aspect of the rescue, or simply have some suggestions as to how we can make things better, please do not be shy to approach us – we will be genuinely grateful for your input.