From our beginning, FBRC was specifically setup as a foster family based rescue service covering Glasgow & West Central Scotland.  We firmly believe this is the best environment to allow our rescued rabbits, many of which come from neglected backgrounds, to get used to a suitable home environment, socialisation and families in a way that is not possible within a traditional rescue centre environment.

One of the main reasons though has always been that we simply did not have the facilities to allow us to run a more traditional rescue service.

In summer 2012, our charity founders David & Feona Bell moved to a new home that included a garden large enough for us to re-look at this.  They have always been very keen to support the fostering network further by caring for some of the rabbits themselves, and have set to developing a mini-centre, nicknamed ‘The Warren’.

The Warren will include two large sheds connected to a series of run setups.  A “”Foster Shed”” will include space for up to 12 “”hutch”” environments, each linking to shared run space that will allow any residents a minimum of 3 hours daily access to run areas (typically we expect they will get much more than this!).  The other larger shed is used for various purposes including:

  • Living space for David & Feona’s three groups of pet rabbits, which feature in many of the FBRC events (and are often used for last minute rabbit photo shoots).
  • Storage for food and equipment relating to all rescue activities
  • An assessment area for examining and treating rabbits as required, in particular initial assessments as rabbits enter the network.
  • A bonding area to facilitate bonding sessions as part of the our Bonding Bootcamp

Progress on the build is underway, but not progressing as quickly as we would have liked.  In particular the external run build has stalled due to the weather we’ve experienced since August, as a significant level of landscaping is required to make the run areas practical and safe.  In the meantime, temporary runs are being used to ensure any rabbits are being given essential exercise, and efforts are being made to keep the number of rabbits on site to a minimum until work is complete.

Once completed, it is still the intention to prioritise our foster care placements over The Warren, making The Warren more of an over-flow facility as and when required.  It will help facilitate the practical side of running the foster care service, including providing a transfer base, back up cover for foster carer’s holidays and ensuring spaces are available for true emergency cases.  To that end then, it is not anticipated that the facility would reach capacity at any particular time.

The facility will not be open to the public, but we are in the process of recruiting additional Rabbit Care Assistants to help care for the rabbits at The Warren.  This will offer an excellent opportunity for anyone who is keen to gain additional animal welfare experience for their career, or for those who want to help but are unable to foster rabbits in their own home.  It may also be appropriate from time to time for some service users to be invited directly to The Warren depending on the service(s) they require from the rescue.

We are hopeful that everything will be up and running for early January, but this is very much dependent on the weather and available funding.  Much of the build has been funded directly by David & Feona themselves, but if you would be willing to offer a donation for some of the additional equipment that will be required to care for the rabbits within the Foster Shed at The Warren, it would very much be appreciated.  You can donate directly via Just Giving below.