Huge surge in small pets surrendered to DSPCA
Violet the rabbit with DSPCA’s Suzanne McGovern after her rescue Photo by Lorraine O’Sullivan

Huge surge in small pets surrendered to DSPCA

Concerns have been raised by the DSPCA after experiencing a huge surge in pet rabbits and other small pet animals being surrendered to their shelter in Rathfarnham in recent months.

Over three times the usual amount of rabbits have been handed into the animal welfare charity this year along with an increase in number of other small animals such as guinea pigs, gerbils and ferrets as a result of various situations, most commonly because owners no longer have time or have lost interest in caring for them and did not research the commitment and complex needs of their care.

Violet arrived to the DSPCA as a very sick stray rabbit. She was found in terrible condition with severe and painful matting all over her body.

She was covered in her own faeces and her tail and bone were badly injured. She was in extreme pain and state of stress.

The DSPCA vet team worked hard to save her and after weeks of care she is now ready to find a loving home.

Suzanne McGovern from the DSPCA said “Violet’s story is an upsetting one and the pain and suffering she went through could have easily been prevented. We are keen to point out that rabbits and other small pets may not be as common as a dog or a cat for a household pet, but that does not mean they do not need daily care.

“They are a wonderful addition to any family but have specific needs which we strongly advise you to consider when choosing to adopt one. Our intake of small animals has tripled since 2019 and so far in 2022 over 173 pet rabbits have arrived to the shelter and we have a large waiting list of owners wishing to surrender their rabbits.

“When you choose to get a pet, please be a responsible owner and do the homework before committing. Ensure all members of the family understand what is required to look after them, also taking into account the associated costs. We have some beautiful rabbits at the moment looking for homes, they are neutered and ready to meet their new families.”

Nigel Birrell CEO of Lottoland said “We are constantly in awe of the amazing work carried out by many animal charities especially the DSPCA who carry out their fantastic work so diligently and expertly. We are so happy to be a charity partner of theirs and help out with their worthwhile fundraising through our Win-Win charity lotto.”


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