By DAVID McCANN
August 28, 2010
Two pet rabbits were abandoned by their owners with little food and no water outside an animal welfare charity – 18 months after the charity had moved out.
The bunnies were cooped up in a pet carrier and ditched at the front door of the old Scottish SPCA building on Queensferry Road and were left overnight. SSPCA ambulance driver Emma Phillips helped rescue the stricken animals – one of which was pregnant – after the charity was alerted by a neighbour.
“If they hadn’t been found it’s unlikely they’d have survived more than a couple of days,” she said.
“A van was seen stopping outside the building the previous evening and it may be that whoever was responsible was in that van and had hoped we’d find the rabbits in the morning. However, it’s quite clear that we are no longer at the premises. More importantly, it is unacceptable to abandon an animal in any circumstances, which is not only cruel but also an offence.”
The Scottish SPCA has appealed for anyone with information to come forward.
Anyone who is prosecuted for abandoning a pet can be banned from keeping animals for life.
The rabbits, a male and a pregnant female, were both lop-eared Netherland dwarfs – a smaller breed than most rabbits that typically weigh between 500g to 1.6kg.
“Someone from the business next door found the rabbits at the front of our old premises at Braehead Mains, on Queensferry Road, at around 9am,” the ambulance driver said.
“It is very lucky they were discovered as they’d been left in a carrier with only a small amount of food and no water. There’s a good chance the female could be pregnant and it may be that’s why someone dumped them. They’re both in good condition and they’ll be looking for new homes soon.”
The rabbits are now recovering at the Scottish SPCA’s Edinburgh and Lothians Animal Rescue and Rehoming Centre in Balerno.
“Sadly, rabbits often turn out to be unwanted, usually because they have been given to children as gifts,” added the 23-year-old. “They can be great fun at first but when the novelty wears off the parents are often left to clean up and care for them, which can be for a long time as rabbits can live for over eight years. Many end up being handed in to our centres, abandoned or are neglected.
“Rabbits often aren’t ideal for children and families but they can make fantastic pets if their owners understand and are able to meet their needs.”
The Scottish SPCA moved its animal helpline, which also serves as the charity’s head office, from Braehead Mains to expanded premises in Dunfermline last year in order to deal with year on year increases in calls.
Source: Edinburgh Evening News, Edinburgh, Scotland