SLIDESHOW: Let’s all hop to it and save these tiny Easter bunnies

Each week the Ilkeston Advertiser features a pet desperately in need of a new loving home as part of our Rescue Me appeal, which sees us team up with the RSCPA animal shelter in Derby.

This week, as it’s Easter, reporter Sam Gascoyne got to say what’s up doc? as he visited the venue to find out about all the rabbits who need new owners, including 17 newborn bunnies who were abandoned.

RSPCA Derby. Baby bunnies that need rehoming.

RSPCA Derby. Baby bunnies that need rehoming.

What does it mean when the Easter Bunny arrives late one day with melted chocolate? 
He probably had a bad ‘hare’ day!

Nothing epitomises Easter quite like a bunnies, and the RSPCA animal shelter a tAbbey Street in Derby has a host of fluffy rabbits it needs your help to find new homes for.

No fewer than 17 newborn rabbits were taken to the animal rescue shelter last week after they were discovered huddled together under a bush in Stenson Fields, Derby.

If it were not for the fast actions of the dedicated staff at the RSPCA, I’d be telling a vastly different story to the one you read now.

For after the bunnies were found, had they not been cared for so well and quickly, including giving the hungry gang food and water, they might not have survived.

All 17 of the incredibly cute bunnies are now in the loving care of volunteers and staff at the shelter, who are making sure they grow strong enough and are given the right care in preparation for adoption in the coming months.

Leanne Manchester, 25, of Lacey Close, Ilkeston has worked at the shelter for over three years and is currently looking after four of the rabbits. She’s affectionately named the group Wilhemina, Thomas, George and Harriet, but admits all names could end up being changed as she’s yet to discover the sex of them all as the bunnies are so young!

She believes that the rabbits were abandoned because the owners of the adults rabbits had failed to get them neutered.

She said: “It’s likely that someone had two rabbits thinking they were the same sex, obviously they weren’t and they had babies which they couldn’t look after.

“We see this happen a few times a year. It’s always the same situation every single time we get a large group of rabbits come in.

“It doesn’t help that rabbits tend to inbreed so their numbers can grow very quickly by surprise, especially considering they have on average eight newborns in a litter.”

Leanne is currently enjoying chasing four of the 17 mischievous critters around her house every morning, where they’re temporarily living before taking them back to the shelter during the working day.

And she’s quick to point out the bunnies make wonderful pets that are often overlooked by people visiting the RSPCA shelter looking to adopt a pet.

She said: “They’re really easy to look after and they’re so much fun to have around when they’re looked after well.

“Rabbits are still seen as the stereotypical pet that you shove in a hutch at the bottom of the garden and occasionally have a look at and clean out, and that’s not right.

“They need a friend, plenty of toys and a lot of love.

“We quite simply don’t have the space to look after all of these rabbits for a long time so, of course, we’re keen to see them get taken to a nice, loving home.”

If you think you can take on any of the bunnies or any of the other animals at the shelter, including cats and dogs, contact the Derby & District RSPCA on 01332 344620 or visit the city centre shelter Monday to Sunday (except Wednesday) 12pm till 4pm for animal viewings.