March 18, 2021 – PetRescue UK and Ireland today launched a new campaign which seeks to put an end to the breeding and selling of ‘Easter bunnies’ as gifts, on commercial pet selling websites such as Gumtree.
A rabbit is not just for Easter but sadly, many people irresponsibly buy rabbits on a whim, without doing the necessary research into their care – particularly around this time of year. Many of those bunnies are soon abandoned by owners who underestimated how much care, space and veterinary attention they need.
These impulse purchases are fuelled by sites like Gumtree, which doesn’t place any restrictions on advertising based on animal welfare. New owners are often unaware that rabbits have suffered in “puppy farmed” environments with indiscriminate breeders only interested in making a profit, and adverts like the above will only create more welfare issues down the line for these poor ‘Easter bunnies.’
PetRescue UK and Ireland are going to help put a stop to this by showcasing adoptable rabbits and other pets from reputable local rescue centres. The platform has been successful in Australia for over 17 years, using proven technology to carefully match pets with potential owners, according to their personal needs and circumstances. This is a sorely needed service here. PetRescue UK and Ireland are working towards ending pet homelessness and making adoption the first choice, supporting the public campaigns to stop Gumtree from advertising and selling living animals with the message #AdoptDontShop when it comes to finding a pet.
Educating Owners to Find Every Rabbit’s Forever Home
The latest PDSA Paw Report reveals that 36% of vets say that small hutches are one of the top five welfare concerns for rabbits, and 56% cite “lack of owner knowledge” as another. The report also revealed that currently, 34% of British rabbit owners were more likely to get their pet from a pet shop or garden centre, compared to 1% of dog owners and 2% of cat owners. Like online sellers, many of these shops provide no information about rabbit care, and new owners are often unaware of the importance of checking that new bunnies have been spayed or neutered - female rabbits can get pregnant minutes after being born and give birth within 4 weeks.
This means that UK rabbits are often kept in housing with little or no run space, and without the necessary exercise, toys, companionship, vet care and diet that they require. 15% of owners report that their rabbit is stressed, 22% say it is bored, and over half want to change completely natural behaviours in their pet such as digging or chewing. PetRescue UK and Ireland wants to change all of this, by providing important information to new owners about how to properly care for their pet before point of adoption, so people are aware of welfare requirements upfront and can decide whether they will be able to fulfil them.
Support the Launch, Support Animals in Need
Colleen Long, founder of PetRescue UK and Ireland says: “Our vision is to make pet adoption the first choice by inviting all reputable rescue centres in the UK and Ireland to join us and present their adoptable pets on one website, with a free and easy to use search functionality for the public to find their perfect pet - whether a dog, cat, rabbit or any other species.”
She goes on to say, “Today there are 1,000’s of rescue pets looking for homes, and research shows over 90% of the public would choose a rescue pet if they could find the right one. We want to make it as easy as possible for owners to find new pets responsibly and give them forever homes, but to do that we need help. If you can donate to our cause it will make all the difference to these pets’ lives now and in the future.”
Animal campaigner and Downton Abbey Actor Peter Egan supports the launch, saying, “It’s time to bring together the available pets from all rescue centres into a ‘one-stop-shop, giving them a better chance of being found, whilst enabling the public to quickly find a pet that matches their lifestyle. Let’s make this happen!”
Renowned authorities on rabbit rehoming and welfare such as The Rabbit Residence Rescue, Beloved Rabbits and The Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund all wholeheartedly support the launch of PetRescue UK and Ireland. Each would welcome the opportunity to help the public more easily search for and rescue rabbits, dogs, cats, horses or any other species, from reputable rescue centres. The adoption process also provides the opportunity for the adopter and rescue centre to discuss the adoption and provides a lifeline for the pet if it has to be surrendered in future for any reason.
PetRescue UK & Ireland needs your help to be ready for the Easter bunnies in need. Please visit https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/petrescue-uk-and-ireland to support the launch of PetRescue UK & Ireland.
About PetRescue UK & Ireland
Charity Buddy is a registered charity in England, no 1189284. One of its charitable objectives is to implement a national pet adoption platform. PetRescue UK & Ireland is the pet adoption platform brand name and will be governed and run by Charity Buddy. For more information, visit our Facebook page @petrescueuki
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Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of Charity Buddy, on Thursday 18 March, 2021. For more information subscribe and follow https://pressat.co.uk/