RSPCA urges pet owners to do their research after being called to rescue abandoned rabbit.

Brian the rabbit was taken into private boarding.

Brian the rabbit was taken into private boarding.

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The RSPCA is urging prospective pet owners to do their research before buying a bunny after being called to rescue an abandoned rabbit.

RSPCA animal collection officer (ACO) Tina Hallas was called to Greaves Avenue in Wakefield on Sunday afternoon by a man who had spotted a loose rabbit on a driveway hiding under a car.

“The gentleman managed to catch the bunny and asked his neighbours if it belonged to anyone or had escaped but, when he had no luck tracking down his owners, he called us,” ACO Hallas said.

“Thankfully, the little black and white Dutch rabbit wasn’t injured and was in fairly good condition.

“It could have been a very different story as domestic rabbits are not capable of surviving on their own in England, particularly not when the weather is so cold and wet.”

The young adult male rabbit - now nicknamed Brian - was taken into private boarding and will remain under the animal welfare charity’s care for a week. If he is not claimed, then the RSPCA will seek to find him a new home.

“Brian is in really good condition so I suspect he has been a beloved family pet,” ACO Hallas said.

“He may have escaped from his home, in which case I hope we’re able to reunite him with his owners.

“However, there may also be a much sadder reason for him being found loose in the area. Unfortunately, we are often being called to collect and rescue animals who have been dumped by their owners, unloved and unwanted.

“That’s why I would urge people to do their research before getting any pet. Rabbits can live for a number of years and it takes a certain level of responsibility and commitment to properly care for them.

“Sadly, too many people take on these pets without giving it enough thought and, when they realise they can no longer care for them or they grow bored of them, they turf them out to fend for themselves - it’s shocking.”

Every year, the RSPCA is called out to rescue hundreds of animals across England and Wales after their owners abandon them and in many cases leave them for dead. In 2015, the charity rescued 512 rabbits who had been dumped.

To assist our inspectors in rescuing abandoned animals and our hospitals in treating them please visit: www.rspca.org.uk/abandonment.

To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care please visit: www.rspca.org.uk/give or text LOVE to 87023 to give £3 (Text costs £3 + one standard network rate message).