We are always very keen to develop and improve how the charity delivers our services, and so are keen to receive and listen to feedback as we continue to meet a growing need for rabbit rescue services throughout Scotland.
Earlier in 2017 we listened to feedback from our followers that indicated that our adoption process was sometimes a little slower than they had expected and that responses to emails and messages would sometimes take a few days.
We made a number of changes to how we do things, and after a few months of monitoring how these changes have settled in we are happy to see that we notice a big difference. Do you?
As part of this change, Heather and Lisa both took on new roles within our charity’s management team as Adoptions Managers. Working very closely together, they ensure that all our adoption enquiries are managed as quickly as we possibly can.
When we first receive your adoption application, either Heather or Lisa will be in touch to discuss the whole process with you and make sure that we help you find the perfect bonded pair for you, or finding a new buddy for your existing bunny or group. They will guide you through the whole process, including bonding advice and support where required, and make sure your new addition to the bunny family is happy and settled in their new home.
“Finding homes for the bunnies who arrive at the rescue is incredibly rewarding, but it’s not an easy task – at every step we have to carefully consider what’s best for each single bunny, pair or group we rehome. No adoption is exactly alike and each rabbit has their own unique personality so we work hard to make sure their care and welfare needs are at the heart of the whole process.
“We have a wonderful network of foster carers and this allows us to really get to know the rabbits – their likes, dislikes, temperaments and behaviours. Our application process, including our form and request for photos or home visits, allows us to gain an understanding of the type of home being offered to the rabbits. This means we can work with each adopter to find the bunny for them, ensuring that the rabbits individual needs can be met.
“The bunnies who come into the rescue all have different backgrounds – some good and some bad – but they’ve each been through a great deal of change and we need to make sure that the new home they hop off to becomes their forever home, where they can live with a companion (or two!) and be well looked after by their human family. The whole adoption process, from enquiry to collection, can take anything from a couple of day to a number of weeks, but our involvement doesn’t end there – we’re always on hand to answer questions and provide support while the bunnies get settled, especially if bonding is involved. It’s a demanding role but it’s worth it to see the bunnies happy and loved in their new homes.”
Heather Thomson, Adoptions Manager
“Heather was really lovely to deal with at every step from submitting the application to litter training advice. We think what you do is really important and we’re glad we could give just one bunny a new home!”
Amy, adopter of Mimosa (now known as Luna).
“The adoption process was very good, the website worked well and the adoption was straightforward and good care advice was given. I found both your managers to be excellent.”
Densie, adopter of Peter Kay.
“We thought the collection appointment and bonding support received was great. It was a very nice friendly environment and everyone clearly very knowledgeable. It was helpful being new to bonding to have the initial session there, and have common reactions explained, preparing us for continuing at home. After adoption I messaged the facebook page for advice, and quickly received a response.”
Sophie, adopter of Turmeric.
“Being on the adoptions team at Fairly Beloved Rabbit Care is so rewarding. I love helping our rescue bunnies find their perfect forever homes. At FBRC we will work with you as much as we can to help you find the right bunnies and can offer full bonding support too. We can also provide lots of advice on housing and exercise space and ideas and work with you to improve your existing set up so your bunnies have as much space as possible.
“Adopting from FBRC has so many benefits. Not only will your new bunnies be neutered, vaccinated and microchipped but when you adopt you save two lives as we then have a space to rescue more bunnies.
“I look forward to working with you to find your perfect bunnies.”
Lisa Thow, Adoptions Manager.
As well as the positive feedback we have had from our recent adopters, we continue to listen to all comments and suggestions:
- We will soon be looking at our adoption form to see if we can simplify the process whilst still ensuring we get enough information to guarantee the best possible homes for rabbits in our care.
- We will look at our appointment timings to try to offer opportunities for more 1:1 time for those needing extra bonding or care advice on collection (usually for first time owners).
- We are looking at improving the website information to try to provide more information for all rabbits to help make the choice easier – we appreciate that photos are often not enough and you want more info on personalities and temperament, as well as some videos.
- We are trying to work out ways we can be able to more accurately predict how long your rabbit(s) may need to stay in the rescue for neutering or vaccinations.
If you would be interested in adopting from us, please visit http://fbrc.org.uk/adopt to view a list of rabbits looking for a new home, and to begin the process.
In Scotland there is a Ne’er Day (New Year’s Day) tradition of “First Foot-in”, where friends, family and neighbours all aim to be the first to step through your doors in the new year to spread good luck and well wishes for the new year.
This year, the Fairly Beloved Rabbit Care team are planning a “First Hop-In” as David and a small team of the volunteers, dressed in all their tartan bunny fine-ness, tour round Central Scotland visiting as many of our foster bunnies as possible. It’s an excellent opportunity to spread the warmth and love our fantastic supporters share with us over the Christmas period as we distribute gifts and supplies that have been donated to the charity for the rabbits.
We will be hopping round the homes on Saturday 6th January 2018 and we’d love you to get involved too.
- Help boost our “Bunny, It’s Cold Outside” campaign by sponsoring the team as they bounce between foster homes. – https://www.justgiving.com/fbrc-firsthopin.
- Help boost the number of gifts we can share with the rabbits by sending us a gift from our Amazon wishlist – http://amzn.eu/f1w9D0x.
- Request a “Shout Out” with your donation at https://www.justgiving.com/fbrc-firsthopin and we will do our best to give you a mention during our live updates throughout the day.
We’ll be sharing live updates as we go on Saturday 6th January 2018 so tune-in to our Facebook page to see how we get on, listen for your shout out or look to see if you can spot your gift being given out to one of our bunnies.
Thank you in advance for your support – we are hoping it will be an excellent way to end our “Bunny, It’s Cold Outside” campaign.
Over the past week Fairly Beloved Rabbit Care have rescued a total of 33 rabbits in a case involving the dissolution of an Ayrshire based rescue charity.
Hoots Forever Homes contacted FBRC seeking support for rehoming the rabbits on 4th October 2017, and our team immediately began plans to offer assistance. They had taken on a few rabbits earlier in the year, but due to some of the rabbits not being neutered this escalated into a situation where there were more rabbits than the charity could cope with.
We have since learned that Hoots Forever Homes is beginning proceedings to dissolve and all the animals within their care are now being rehomed or seized with support from Scottish SPCA.
On collection, we found that the rabbits were being housed in unsuitable, small hutches, living in large groups of 6 to 9 rabbits within each hutch. Some of the younger rabbits were thin looking on collection. On arrival back at The Warren, we found that many were very hungry and launched themselves to the food being offered to them.
The rabbits are now all within our care and housed in appropriate groups across our foster network. Now enjoying large hutches and run space, or in some cases our new Bunny Sheds, the rabbits are now enjoying the level of care they deserve.
10 of the rabbits are known to already be neutered, thankfully. However, the remaining 23 all require neutering, and there is some risk that some of the females may already be pregnant which we are monitoring closely.
All 33 rabbits will require both Myxo-RHD and Filvac (RHD2) vaccinations and microchipping prior to adoption too.
Two of the rabbits, Cardamom and Cilantro, are displaying significant symptoms of snuffles. They have been separated from other rabbits and placed with one of our foster carers and are already undergoing appropriate treatment. The other rabbits are also being monitored for any early symptoms of this.
Another one, Clove, sadly was covered in sores and has a significant abscess on his rear as a result of bullying from hutch mates whilst in Hoots Forever Homes care. He is attending the vet for further assessment today.
Our priority as always is getting the rabbits safely cared for within our foster network, and beginning to get them prepared for their new forever homes. After an initial settling period we will begin vaccinations and neuter ops.
With huge thanks to our network of vet partners who offer significant discounted treatment and consultations for the charity, we have estimated the cost for veterinary care and vaccinations as being in the region of £2,000 – £2,500.
In addition the foster care team now have a lot more mouths to feed and the impact on us covering day-to-day food and bedding costs is another consideration for us.
This was an unexpected and unplanned rescue, and forms part of a total 51 rabbits rescued in the past month! Every rabbit entering the rescue always gets given a new rescue ‘nickname’ and October names are themed on Spices.
Thankfully we are setup in a manner that allows us to take on the responsibility of these rabbits and ensure the best levels of care possible to give them a better opportunity for a happy, and hopefully long life.
However, this additional financial burden comes at the start of the winter season which is often a difficult time of year for us in terms of increased financial pressure. We had not anticipated this additional cost and are looking for your help.
If you can offer any financial support please consider donations or fundraising for us. We have setup a Just Giving campaign below, or text SPCE33 £5 to 70070 to make a quick and very appreciated donation of £5.
Or why not pop in to see is us at our event in Silverburn on Saturday 14th October or Sunday 15th October 2017?
A disabled pet bunny recently became the 1,000th rabbit to be rescued by Scotland’s only registered rabbit rescue charity.
The young rabbit lost his front paw during birthing complications and has been nicknamed “Adam Hills” after C4’s The Last Leg comedian.
Fairly Beloved Rabbit Care, who began rescuing domestic rabbits in December 2010, are now preparing Adam for his forever home through their adoptions process.
Heather Thomson, one of the charity’s Adoptions Managers and Adam’s foster carer, explains their hopes for Adam’s future.
“Company is really important for rabbits so we have already bonded Adam with another young rabbit who entered the rescue at the same time, who we have nicknamed Josh Widdicombe.”
The charity continues to seek new adoptive homes for Adam and Josh, as well as the numerous other rabbits in the charity’s care.
Rabbits continue to be the most abandoned, neglected and misunderstood pet in the UK, with recent estimates suggesting over 67,000 rehomed through rescue charity’s every year and several thousands more privately rehomed through friends, family, social media and classifieds.
“Rabbits are very much the unheard pet,” says David Bell, founder and director of the charity. “Most people are surprised to learn all that is needed to provide an appropriate diet, space, company and stimulation.”
Fairly Beloved Rabbit Care was started by David and his wife Feona when they recognised there was a lack of rabbit welfare services in Glasgow. Relying on a team of volunteer foster carers and care assistants, the team is now provided rabbit rescue services throughout most of Scotland, including a recent rescue of rabbits from Aberdeenshire.
“There are other organisations that will rescue rabbits, but we are the only registered rescue charity in Scotland that specialises in rabbits only. They are more complex and specialist than people realise, and the dedication of our volunteers makes a massive difference in terms of meeting the full needs of the rabbits in our care.”
Research has shown that rabbits actually need a significant amount of space and should always be kept in pairs or small groups. Many of the hutches and cages available from pet suppliers fall short of the requirements of recommendations by the leading animal welfare charities including The Rabbit Welfare Association, PDSA and RSPCA.
“When we started the rescue we thought we would rescue around 12 rabbits a year” explains Feona Bell. “We now rescue over 200 per year, and we all still run the charity alongside our other work and family commitments too”.
As well as rescue services, the charity offers adoption, rabbit bonding, educational talks and care advice services too. They also rely heavily on volunteers and fundraising activities to keep the service running. For more information, or to begin the rabbit adoption process, visit their website at http://www.fairlybelovedrabbitcare.org.
17-25 June 2017 is Rabbit Awareness Week throughout the UK: a week where various animal welfare charities, rescues, pet stores and vet practices all get together to highlight rabbit welfare issues and promote these much loved and yet very much misunderstood pets.
Our RAW 2017 T-Shirt designs are available to purchase until 28 June 2017, and each design is available in Unisex, Ladies and Kids t-shirt and hoodie styles too!
Design 1: Bunny Cuddles
Design 2: #HopToHay
Staff at Pets at Home in Irvine are celebrating with Fairly Beloved Rabbit Care after they raised over £2500 for the rabbit-dedicated rescue charity.
During December, Support Adoption For Pets held their annual Christmas fundraising appeal with Pets at Home stores where customers were asked to donate 50p to buy a Christmas dinner for a rescue pet in need. The kind-hearted Customers of the Irvine store donated over 10,000 dinners and in doing so raised over £5000, half of which was presented to Fairly Beloved Rabbit Care.
David Bell, the charity’s co-founder says “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Pets at Home in Irvine and are overwhelmed at the dedication of the staff and the generosity of the customers in the local area. Our volunteers were also in-store during December, including Christmas Eve, to raise vital funds and to answer rabbit related questions. Donations like this are a welcome boost at what is traditionally a difficult time of year for fundraising.”
Lynsey Kermack, Pets at Home Assistant Manager says “The team here in Irvine are very proud of the work we do for Support Adoption and the amazing opportunities it provides to help local rehoming partners such as Fairly Beloved Rabbit Care. The charity do fantastic work raising awareness for rabbits and educating the public; but equally, the relationship that has developed between the store team and the charity is amazing. Everyone is keen to help out and get behind the work they do and this really showed during the Santa Paws appeal where we managed to raise over 10,000 dinners to help rescue pets. We look forward to the team at FBRC being back in store again soon and we at Pets at Home Irvine are happy to be supporting such a buntastic charity!”
Rabbits are the UK’s third most popular furry friend, but continues to be the most abandoned, neglected and misunderstood. As a result Fairly Beloved Rabbit Care experience a very high demand for their services, which include rabbit rescue, adoption, bonding and care advice.
Today we had an unannounced visit from Scottish SPCA inspectors following a concern report that had been submitted to them about cramped conditions, smelly hutches and rabbits being forced to sleep in their own faeces.The inspectors are satisfied with the level of care at The Warren, and were pleased to see the level of security and the log/diary maintained to support the rabbits care provision. They have advised that there are no grounds to the complaint and no further action will be taken.
It is always upsetting and challenging when your hard work is challenged in this way. It’s not clear if the report was an attempt to be malicious or following genuine concern for welfare of rabbits in our care. However, whilst I am happy that we continue to provide adequate levels of care for all the rabbits within FBRC, I am always keen to hear suggestions for ways we can further improve the care we provide at The Warren and within the foster care network.
In recent years we have made significant adjustments throughout our services following feedback and suggestions from volunteers and supporters. I am committed to reviewing our care standards on an ongoing basis. We will always be constrained by funds and practicalities, but we will give all serious suggestions due consideration.
It is also worth remembering that the care standards within the rescue are a team effort, and all our volunteers share my passion and motivation to provide the best we possibly can for rabbits in need. With this in mind there is always room for improvement. With your help, support and encouragement FBRC can do amazing things for rabbit welfare in Scotland.
If you have any concerns about the level of care within any aspect of the rescue, or simply have some suggestions as to how we can make things better, please do not be shy to approach us – we will be genuinely grateful for your input.
Dozens of local rescued rabbits are asking you to dig deep into your pockets as a new campaign for better rescue accommodation is launched.
Fairly Beloved Rabbit Care is ‘hopping’ for your support as they launch their new campaign this week, Bedrooms & Binkies. The campaign seeks to raise enough funds to replace the aging and damaged hutches and runs throughout the rescue to make life for the rabbits a lot more pleasant.
The Glasgow based rabbit-dedicated rescue charity, with a number of foster carers operating within the local area and throughout Scotland, is urging animal lovers to get involved in a wide range of fundraising activities as they work towards replacing the equipment for over 40 foster carers throughout Scotland.
David Bell, the charity’s co-founder and rescue coordinator says, “The charity’s funds are focused on paying our vet bills every month, and so we have scraped by over the past five years by using the largest and best quality hutches we can from those that have been donated to us. However, many commercially available hutches are simply too small and don’t meet our minimum size requirements so finding good quality large hutches and runs is incredibly difficult.”
As well as relying on donated equipment, the charity has found that many of the items offered to them are of a low quality and often need repaired or replaced after just a few months of use.
“Our volunteers always strive to offer the rabbits in the rescue the best possible experience as we prepare them for adoption. It simply can’t be done using equipment that’s creaking at the seams and always needs patchwork repairs,” David continues, “The rabbits deserve so much better.”
Rabbits are the UK’s third most popular furry friend, but continue to be the most abandoned, neglected and misunderstood. As a result Fairly Beloved Rabbit Care experience a very high demand for their services, which include rabbit rescue, adoption, bonding and care advice.
Since the rescue opened in December 2010, they have rescued over 800 domestic rabbits. However, this number could have been significantly higher had the charity had more hutch space and foster carers available. The demand for rabbit rehoming services is significantly higher than the available spaces within rescue services throughout the country.
Rhona Wilkie, Foster Care Coordinator for the charity, said: “I can’t wait to see happy hopping bunnies settling in to new hutches that are warm, safe and comfortable for them. Many of the rabbits entering the rescue have never known care like they will receive from their foster carers, and it will be great to see the standard of our equipment match that of our dedicated volunteer team.”
Fairly Beloved Rabbit Care are also looking for a number of local joiners to build the hutches and runs and deliver these to the foster carers’ homes. The customised equipment has all been designed with the rabbits needs in mind. Click here for our supplier’s information pack if you are a supplier that would like to get involved.
The campaign, which is expected to run for a number of months, needs to raise around £16,000 to purchase high quality hutches and runs for forty of its current foster carers.
To get the campaign off the ground, the charity has launched its own JustGiving campaign page and is working on plans for various fundraising activities over the coming months including fun runs, family days and much more.
David encourages anyone with a passion for animals or rabbits to consider getting involved.
“Run a 10k for us, sell your unwanted items at a car boot sale, save your spare change in our home collection box or simply donate on our website. Every penny helps and the rabbits will be incredibly grateful!”. Click here to sign up for your own fundraising activity to raise funds for the Bedrooms & Binkies campaign.
Some typical examples of the standards of hutches donated to the charity below. We often have to refuse the offers of hutches as they just would not suit the needs of the rabbits, and so the charity has to stretch our funds to purchase cheap hutches which at least meet the basic needs of our rabbits.
It’s Royal Highland Show week this week, with the event running from Thursday 23 June through until Sunday 26 June at the Royal Highland Show ground at Ingliston, Edinburgh.
Over the past few years, Fairly Beloved Rabbit Care has hosted a stall in the lifestyle village area of the show and have met many of our followers during the event. We have raised a great deal of cash for the charity, and helped spread the message about rabbit welfare to thousands of people each year.
However, we made the decision not to attend the show this year for various reasons. Not only is the show a significant financial commitment that hinges on the hope of good weather and excellent attendance to reap the benefits, but there is a massive amount of planning and work involved in getting us there too. As the stall is a busy and active one, it also takes a great deal of volunteer resource to manage it safely and effectively. Due to various other commitments within the management and volunteer team, we therefore decided earlier in the year that it would be too much for us to commit to this year.
We were also very keen to grasp other opportunities that are being presented to us for 2016, and we are actively exploring alternative event venues and activities to attend in the hope that we will spread rabbit welfare awareness to new audiences throughout Scotland.
We know many of you liked to come to say hello during your visit to the Royal Highland Show, and so wanted to give you advance warning that we won’t be there this year.
We’d like to thank the Royal Highland Agricultural Society and Show and all their visitors for their support in previous years, and wish you all the best for this year’s show.
Fairly Beloved Rabbit Care is going hopping mad this week with a focus on promoting their rabbits for adoption using a comical ‘dating ad’ format on their website to mark Rabbit Awareness Week (RAW).
The Kirkintilloch based rabbit-dedicated rescue charity, with a number of foster carers operating throughout Scotland, is urging animal lovers to logon to their website and check out the benefits to be had in keeping pet rabbits in pairs or small groups throughout the campaign which runs from 18 – 26 June to help raise awareness of rabbit welfare.
This year’s RAW campaign, organised by Burgess Pet Care, is focused on the importance of companionship for hutch animals, asking rabbit owners to pair up their pets with rescued rabbits from animal rescue centres. Local vets will also be offering free health checks for rabbits in RAW week.
The charity, which has been offering rabbit welfare services throughout Scotland for over 5 years, also provides rabbit bonding services designed to help owners safely introduce their rabbits together.
“Bonding rabbits often looks violent and can be quite scary for those who aren’t aware of rabbit behaviour and social structures,” says David Bell, co-director of the charity and the rescue’s resident bonding expert.
“Once you understand the bonding rituals, and some of our tips and tricks to introducing rabbits together, it’s actually relatively straight forward. The benefits of a bonded pair far outweigh the initial fur-flying that can happen when rabbits meet each other for the first time”.
Lhanna Frost, Adoptions Coordinator for the charity, said: “I can’t wait to see the joy on owners’ faces when they discover the satisfaction of seeing the compassion and care a rabbit can give to another rabbit when given the right conditions. It’s such an adorable side of their character. So many single bunnies out there are just not getting the chance to be sociable.”
Suzanne Moyes, veterinary manager at Burgess Pet Care, one of the UK’s leading pet food manufacturers, said she was delighted at the number of events and activities taking place around the UK for this year’s RAW.
“There’s a lot of myths and misinformation surrounding rabbit welfare so it’s wonderful to see so many people come out and support RAW and help put rabbits’ needs under the microscope,” she said. “The welfare of hutch animals often takes a back seat to other pets and we hope through this week’s activities we can improve and understand more about the diet, housing and behaviour of these highly intelligent, social, interactive and fun creatures. And, above all, ensure they all have a bunny buddy of their own. Let’s stop rabbits getting a raw deal!”
RAW is an annual event that brings together vets, pet retailers, welfare charities, manufacturers and owners to educate people about proper rabbit care. Official RAW partners include: Burgess Excel, Panacur Rabbit, RSPCA, PDSA, The Blue Cross, Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund (RWAF) and Wood Green The Animals Charity.
Find out more at www.fairlybelovedrabbitcare.org