Fairly Beloved Rabbit Care is a registered Scottish Charity (#SC402706) founded by husband & wife team David & Feona Bell.
When they started the rescue, in December 2010, their landlord wouldn’t allow them to have any more rabbits other than their 3 pets, but they saw there was such a massive gap in the area for rabbit rescue and still wanted to do something. So they setup as a Foster-based rescue – relying on foster families only to care for the rabbits, whilst Feona & David focussed on rescuing & rehoming activities only.
FBRC were the first rabbit dedicated charity in Scotland, gaining charity status in Nov 2011, and are now the only rabbit dedicated rescue charity operating in the area.
David & Feona have since moved into their own property and have a series of environments to allow them to care for some of the rescues too, creating the charity’s first “Rescue Hub”. The Rescue Hub (nicknamed ‘The Warren’) allows an overspill facility to complement the foster care network and also allows people to visit rabbits by appointment if necessary.
The foster network remains the priority as we feel the benefit of the rabbits gaining more focussed care within a fostered environment prepares them better for successful rehoming. It has its challenges too though.
An additional Rescue Hub, ran in the home of a volunteer Rescue Manager, operated in the Falkirk area throughout 2013 & 2014 but has since closed. There are plans to expand the charity throughout 2016, and this will include attempts to recruit new Rescue Hub Leads who are willing to support the management of the rescue and operate Rescue Hubs from their own homes.
We now have over 35 foster carers (a growing number), covering around 7 local authority areas throughout central Scotland.
As well as the rescue we have a very active education & awareness programme, and an additional team of volunteers help manage fundraising & awareness events where we attend local galas, community and agricultural shows, etc. At our events we have rabbits for handling which gives us an opportunity to talk about rabbit welfare and we run various fundraising activities.
Our big events include a stall at The Royal Highland Show in Edinburgh in June.
In 2012 we also launched our educational talks – visiting schools, nurseries and local youth groups to do an interactive learning session on rabbit welfare. We’ve inky done a few so far, but these seem to be working very well.
Alongside running the charity Feona is a full-time stay at home mum and also volunteers as a breastfeeding support worker with NCT, and David still carries on his day job as an IT consultant.
So the charity really wouldn’t be able to do this without our excellent teams of foster carers and volunteers – they make David’s crazy ideas and plans turn into a working rescue service! Huge thanks to all of them.