Southampton Rabbit Rescue opened its doors officially as a rescue centre back in the autumn of 2000. I hadn’t planned to be a rescue centre in fact I use to breed bunnies, but when I lost two of my beloved girls to pregnancy difficulties that was that.
The rescuing started back in the summer of 2000 when I came home to find a cardboard box on my doorstep, inside a mother and six babies. Three of the babies had already succumbed to the heat and dehydration and Mum & the remaining three were touch and go for a week or more. Well they came through it and we eventually found them all loving new homes. I was ‘’hooked’’ the pleasure it gave me saving these little creatures was far better then putting them through the stress of pregnancies just for my pleasure.
Before I decided to start up a rescue and re-home centre I wanted to find out fully what it involved and what to expect. So after trawling the internet reading numerous books, pestering the life out of my vet and very careful consideration and agreement from my husband the centre started. At first nothing no phone calls or new arrivals and then they started the first a rescue from a pet shop, then a phone call a bunny in a bin, another found still in it’s hutch in the middle of the New Forest, another from a breeder, then came the unwanted the ill-treated and the abandoned.
With each new arrival my commitment to these loving little animals grew, my heart weakened and on many occasions was broken. All too often we would arrive too late to save one or another, but with every sad story came a good one.
I was beginning to find that my lack of rabbit physiology meant I was spending vast amounts of money at the vets even for silly things such as cutting nails and grooming. So, again I turned to the books and the internet and a very patience and helpful vet. As my knowledge grew so did my confidence and my eagerness to get more involved in medical conditions. Soon I was able to cut nails, groom even the most difficult of bunny, dentistry, myxi & vhd jabs deal with cuts, bruises, bites, fractures, heat exhaustion and various ailments.
The rescuing hasn’t always been easy and even those we have had for no more than a few hours break my heart with their passing.
We soon started to receive more than I could house and so the ‘’Bunny House’ was built all 16ft x 10ft of it. Hutches were made to measure and fitted in optimising every single corner of space. If we couldn’t fit in a hutch we’d find a storage box, a food bag, hay or straw bag to fit. The hutches vary in size from 2ft – 6ft with sliding panels to enable me to change the size when necessary.
This year has been wonderful so far as the re-homing goes and since January this year we have found loving new homes for over 36 rabbits.
We have also been out to Schools, Pet Shops, Garden Centres, and Fetes and with the help of Chester has raised over £400.00. We have also made new friends and have helped to raise awareness and educate the public. The funding has already been put to good use by paying for our every increasing vet bill.
We are working hard to gain new sponsors which will help out financially as we receive no public funding. The sponsors are welcome to come and see their bunny whenever they choose as it helps boost morale of the poorly ones which are in excess of 24. Sadly we have also lost a vast amount of sponsors and the company who was helping us financially has now gone into administration leaving us with no funding.
The centre is struggling and finding it hard to cope with the bunnies we have let alone take on new ones. So if you think you can help in anyway please get in contact.