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Charity News

Heather and Lisa, FBRC Adoptions ManagersWe are always very keen to develop and improve how the charity delivers our services, and so are keen to receive and listen to feedback as we continue to meet a growing need for rabbit rescue services throughout Scotland.

Earlier in 2017 we listened to feedback from our followers that indicated that our adoption process was sometimes a little slower than they had expected and that responses to emails and messages would sometimes take a few days.

We made a number of changes to how we do things, and after a few months of monitoring how these changes have settled in we are happy to see that we notice a big difference. Do you?

As part of this change, Heather and Lisa both took on new roles within our charity’s management team as Adoptions Managers. Working very closely together, they ensure that all our adoption enquiries are managed as quickly as we possibly can.

When we first receive your adoption application, either Heather or Lisa will be in touch to discuss the whole process with you and make sure that we help you find the perfect bonded pair for you, or finding a new buddy for your existing bunny or group. They will guide you through the whole process, including bonding advice and support where required, and make sure your new addition to the bunny family is happy and settled in their new home.

Heather, Adoptions Manager"Finding homes for the bunnies who arrive at the rescue is incredibly rewarding, but it’s not an easy task – at every step we have to carefully consider what’s best for each single bunny, pair or group we rehome. No adoption is exactly alike and each rabbit has their own unique personality so we work hard to make sure their care and welfare needs are at the heart of the whole process.

"We have a wonderful network of foster carers and this allows us to really get to know the rabbits – their likes, dislikes, temperaments and behaviours. Our application process, including our form and request for photos or home visits, allows us to gain an understanding of the type of home being offered to the rabbits. This means we can work with each adopter to find the bunny for them, ensuring that the rabbits individual needs can be met.

"The bunnies who come into the rescue all have different backgrounds – some good and some bad – but they’ve each been through a great deal of change and we need to make sure that the new home they hop off to becomes their forever home, where they can live with a companion (or two!) and be well looked after by their human family. The whole adoption process, from enquiry to collection, can take anything from a couple of day to a number of weeks, but our involvement doesn’t end there – we’re always on hand to answer questions and provide support while the bunnies get settled, especially if bonding is involved. It’s a demanding role but it’s worth it to see the bunnies happy and loved in their new homes."

Heather Thomson, Adoptions Manager

 Luna"Heather was really lovely to deal with at every step from submitting the application to litter training advice. We think what you do is really important and we're glad we could give just one bunny a new home!" 

Amy, adopter of Mimosa (now known as Luna).

PeterKay"The adoption process was very good, the website worked well and the adoption was straightforward and good care advice was given. I found both your managers to be excellent." 

Densie, adopter of Peter Kay.

Turmeric"We thought the collection appointment and bonding support received was great. It was a very nice friendly environment and everyone clearly very knowledgeable. It was helpful being new to bonding to have the initial session there, and have common reactions explained, preparing us for continuing at home. After adoption I messaged the facebook page for advice, and quickly received a response."

Sophie, adopter of Turmeric.

LisaThow
"Being on the adoptions team at Fairly Beloved Rabbit Care is so rewarding.  I love helping our rescue bunnies find their perfect forever homes.  At FBRC we will work with you as much as we can to help you find the right bunnies and can offer full bonding support too.  We can also provide lots of advice on housing and exercise space and ideas and work with you to improve your existing set up so your bunnies have as much space as possible.

"Adopting from FBRC has so many benefits.  Not only will your new bunnies be neutered, vaccinated and microchipped but when you adopt you save two lives as we then have a space to rescue more bunnies.

"I look forward to working with you to find your perfect bunnies."

Lisa Thow, Adoptions Manager.

 

 

 

 

As well as the positive feedback we have had from our recent adopters, we continue to listen to all comments and suggestions:

  • We will soon be looking at our adoption form to see if we can simplify the process whilst still ensuring we get enough information to guarantee the best possible homes for rabbits in our care.
  • We will look at our appointment timings to try to offer opportunities for more 1:1 time for those needing extra bonding or care advice on collection (usually for first time owners).
  • We are looking at improving the website information to try to provide more information for all rabbits to help make the choice easier - we appreciate that photos are often not enough and you want more info on personalities and temperament, as well as some videos.
  • We are trying to work out ways we can be able to more accurately predict how long your rabbit(s) may need to stay in the rescue for neutering or vaccinations.

If you would be interested in adopting from us, please visit http://fbrc.org.uk/adopt to view a list of rabbits looking for a new home, and to begin the process.

David and his daughter Aimee dressed as Santa Bunnies in 2016In Scotland there is a Ne’er Day (New Year’s Day) tradition of “First Foot-in”, where friends, family and neighbours all aim to be the first to step through your doors in the new year to spread good luck and well wishes for the new year.

This year, the Fairly Beloved Rabbit Care team are planning a “First Hop-In” as David and a small team of the volunteers, dressed in all their tartan bunny fine-ness, tour round Central Scotland visiting as many of our foster bunnies as possible. It’s an excellent opportunity to spread the warmth and love our fantastic supporters share with us over the Christmas period as we distribute gifts and supplies that have been donated to the charity for the rabbits.

We will be hopping round the homes on Saturday 6th January 2018 and we’d love you to get involved too.

We’ll be sharing live updates as we go on Saturday 6th January 2018 so tune-in to our Facebook page to see how we get on, listen for your shout out or look to see if you can spot your gift being given out to one of our bunnies.

Thank you in advance for your support – we are hoping it will be an excellent way to end our “Bunny, It’s Cold Outside” campaign.

The Santa Paws team as they set off to deliver gifts last Christmas

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 http://www.fairlybelovedrabbitcare.org.

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?




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

BUY BUNNY CUDDLES DESIGN

BUY #HOPTOHAY 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.