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Four young rabbits abandoned near Shrewsbury days before Christmas

The rabbits are now at RSPCA Bryn-Y-Maen Animal Centre

Four young rabbits abandoned days before Christmas have been taken into RSPCA care at its North Wales animal centre.

They were found on a country lane by Exfords Green, Shrewsbury, in a cat carrier at around 2.30pm on 23 December – and had been dumped on the side of the road.

RSPCA animal rescue officer Melanie Froude said: “These four poor rabbits were found on a country lane on the side of the road in a cat carrier. They must have been so cold and frightened.

“Luckily they were spotted – as there were no houses nearby – and we were called. They have now been taken into our care and are at RSPCA Bryn-Y-Maen Animal Centre.

“All rabbits are well, apart from being a little on the skinny side and were a bit dirty. One of them just has one ear too – so we’re not sure how they lost that.”

The RSPCA is now appealing for any information to help with its enquiries.

“If anyone has any first-hand information that will help our enquiries please do get in touch and call us via 0300 123 8018, quoting 01200638,” said Mel.

“It is so very sad that someone felt that they had no other option than to leave these rabbits. We understand that people are struggling with the cost of living crisis but abandoning animals out in the cold is never acceptable.”

Up to the end of October, the animal welfare charity had received 17,838 reports of abandoned animals across England and Wales – which, if such trends continue, would equate to 21,417 reports over 2023. This compares with 16,118 reports during the whole of 2020, meaning the RSPCA is on course to see an eye-watering 32.9 percent rise in abandonment calls this year. It’s higher too than the number of reports received in 2021 (17,179) and 2022 (19,645).

While in Wales specifically – abandonment reports have risen 61% – from 997 in 2020 to a projected 1,610 this year. This compared to 1,192 reports in 2021 and 1,419 in 2022.

Mel added: “We’re desperately concerned about the coming winter months in Wales. Abandonments have soared and many rescue centres are full to bursting, so we are facing an unprecedented winter crisis.

“Our rescue teams are set to be busier than ever this Christmas – so we need animal lovers to join the Christmas rescue and donate to help us be there for animals in desperate need as neglect and abandonment soars.”