Rescue service needs new home for 'record numbers' of rabbits

October 26 2021
Rescue service needs new home for 'record numbers' of rabbits

A RESCUE service which has been saving, rehabilitating and rehoming rabbits or 15 years is looking for help in finding and funding a new home.

The Littlest Lives Rescue is based in Speedwell and currently has more than 60 rabbits in its care, with even more on a waiting list.

The boom in pet ownership during the coronavirus lockdown has in turn led to "record numbers" of enquiries from people who now want to give up their rabbits - at a time when nearly half of the group's foster volunteers have had to step back due to work commitments. 

Now the volunteer-run, not-for-profit organisation is struggling to find suitable bigger premises to rent, and is calling on residents and local businesses to help. 

Trustee Jo Bray said: "Rabbits can make great pets but like any animal they have specific needs and, for a first-time pet owner these requirements can be surprisingly demanding, not least if you want the rabbit to thrive and be happy.

"We never turn any away. If it’s classed as an emergency, we’ll find space. No rabbit that comes into our care is ever unnecessarily euthanised due to space or time constraints."

Jo said the rescue had found responsible and loving permanent homes for 160 rabbits in the past year but it can take time to find suitable ones. It also has 24 permanent residents which cannot be rehomed and live together in a large group.

She said: "We ensure that every rabbit that leaves us has been neutered and vaccinated by a vet, which carries a cost as you can imagine. So we fundraise as much as we can, though we’re expecting our application for charitable status to be approved soon which will enable us to do far more.”

The rescue relies on public donations and sales of gifts through an online shop to fund its rescue work.

Jo said: "Our biggest problem is space, so we desperately need help in looking for a new home for the Rescue, in Bristol or the surrounding area, one where we can receive, process and house rabbits given up for adoption."

The service needs a space to rent of up to half an acre, at least partly grassed, with a small building, where it can build up to 80 enclosures, store feed and have a small office.

A crowdfunding page has been set up to help fund the service and its relocation project at justgiving.com/crowdfunding/thelittlestlivesrescuerelocation.

For more information on the Littlest Lives Rescue, visit thelittlestlivesrescue.org.ukor email hello@thelittlestlivesrescue.org.uk.

Picture: One of the Littlest Lives Rescue's permanent residents