Thanet animal shelter TAG Pet Rescue is looking for good, forever homes for the small furries in their care after being inundated with requests to take in small animals.
The rescue is urging people to remember the commitment of giving a rabbit, guinea pig or other small animal a home when they decide to have a pet.
Currently the animal charity has 20 rabbits, 6 guinea pigs, 6 rats and 2 degus in their care – and a long waiting list of more rabbits and guinea pigs needing to come in.
Sanctuary Supervisor Ashen Oleander said: “Over the last month we have been inundated with requests for help with small animals in need of new homes for a whole range of reasons.
“From unexpected litters due to lack of neutering at vets during lockdown, to owners passing away, to owners moving and being unable to take them with them, to children becoming bored of the small pet purchased for them, we’ve had an unusually high demand for space at the sanctuary.
“It is our policy to neuter all rabbits and guinea pigs prior to re-homing (we don’t want them to be used for breeding) and all rabbits are vaccinated. At a cost of £91 per neuter and £67.20 per vaccination course our vet bills have skyrocketed.”
Ashen also urges people to think very seriously about the commitment of looking after a small animal before bringing one into their lives, saying: “Rabbits, guinea pigs and other small furries have surprisingly complex needs and require a lot of time, space and money to look after properly.
“Small animals can make good family pets providing it’s the parents who are responsible for the animal, regardless of whether or not children are still interested – but all small furries are prey animals which means they find being picked up and cuddled very stressful, so not great pets for younger children who may not understand this.
“We ask for all homes to provide enough space for animals to be able to behave naturally. For example, a rabbit would naturally live in an area the size of a football pitch! We ask for a comparatively small set up of a 6ft hutch with a run measuring 6ft by 10ft attached, but as this is larger than most commercially available set ups, sadly many people will go to a pet shop and buy a rabbit and inappropriately sized accommodation.”
To help TAG Pet Rescue:
- Adopt, don’t shop – please re-home a homeless animal rather than buy one, and make the investment in a good set up to give them a happy life
- Donations towards TAG’s ever-increasing vets bills
- Donations of hay, rabbit/guinea pig/rat nuggets, toys, gnaws and enrichment
- Do thorough research before taking on a pet. Websites such as the Rabbit Welfare Association are a great place to find out if rabbits are the right choice for you
- Shop at one of TAG’s shops in Thanet.