RSPCA Isle of Wight has welcomed the arrival of 16 baby rabbits born at the centre in Godshill.
Although staff are reminding pet owners of the importance of spaying and neutering rabbits.
Female lionhead rabbits Bonnie and Poppy gave birth soon after arriving at the centre, with Bonnie’s nine kits now four weeks old, and Poppy’s litter of seven just over one week old.
Both mums and babies are doing well and thriving at the centre, where they will all be available for re-homing when the kits are around 10 to 12 weeks old.
The new arrivals join eight other rabbits in the centre’s care, including angora females Nibbler and Stripe who have been at the centre since January.
Their long coats require special attention with regular grooming, but they would make ideal pets for someone with plenty of time to offer.
Anyone considering adopting a rabbit should make sure they have the time and space needed to care for these intelligent animals.
In line with this year’s Rabbit Awareness Week theme ‘Room for Rabbits’, RSPCA Isle of Wight requires those considering re-homing rabbits to provide 24/7 access to a large 3m x 2m x 1m exercise run where they are protected from predators, as well as a shelter offering space to play and rest.
A hutch should only ever be used as a shelter as part of a larger run, never as a rabbit’s sole accommodation.
Rabbits are sociable animals and should be kept in pairs as a minimum, ensuring males and females are kept separate prior to neutering/spaying when rabbits are six months old.
Suzanne Pugh, Branch Manager at RSPCA Isle of Wight, said:
“The number of rabbits in our care has tripled in recent weeks and while we absolutely adore having newborn rabbits at the centre, it means more mouths to feed and new homes to be found for these beautiful creatures.
“We would appeal to people to do the right thing and get their rabbits neutered to avoid surprise arrivals. Anyone needing information about keeping rabbits is welcome to contact us, we would happily offer advice.
“Thank you to everyone who has supported us with donations or by making a purchase at one of our charity shops, your funds go towards caring for animals like Bonnie and Poppy and their new arrivals, and we are very grateful for your continued support.”
Anyone interested in making a donation towards the care of the animals or looking to provide a home for an animal should contact the centre on 01983 840287 or visit https://www.rspca.org.uk/