Rabbit bonding RSPCA

Welcome to the Spring 2024 Newsletter!

With 2024 well underway it has been full steam ahead for our team of staff and volunteers at the branch. There has been a sharp rise in the number of animals coming into our care with complex medical needs requiring lengthy recuperation periods and high levels of care. Alongside this has been a noticeable decline in animal adoptions, likely due to the financial crisis making the affordability of companion animal ownership further out of reach for so many. These factors have resulted in us being unable to admit as many animals as we usually would, but thanks to our volunteer foster carers, dedicated animal centre team and of course the excellent fundraising talents of our retail team, the animals are getting everything they need to make their stay with us as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.

Bunning Bonding

Our unique foster-for-bonding scheme supports people to pair up their lonely rabbits or guinea pigs with another of the same species in their own home. Our approach to ‘bonding’ is hands-off and animal-led, creating a less stressful experience for all, as can be testified by these happy bunnies….

Rabbit bonding
Sylvia and Sunday in bonding mode!

Sylvia (was Darina) is one rabbit who successfully graduated from our bunny bonding scheme, finding her forever home with new friend Sunday. Her adopters share their experience:

We decided to adopt a bunny as a playmate and partner for our mini lop, Sunday. We couldn’t have chosen a better place than RSPCA Mcr & Salford and Susie has been the BIGGEST saviour at times when we felt we weren’t getting anywhere. From foster to adoption took 8 weeks and we now have the most beautifully bonded pair to spend their lives together. I honestly cannot thank Susie and the team enough.

Another successful pairing story comes from adopters of rabbit BB (left) and Bunny Moo who were keen to share their bonding success too:

The staff at the centre were amazing. They managed our expectations, talked us through the bonding process, fully explained what to do and what not to do. We decided to give it a go!! Roll on December when we brought a very shy Bunny Moo home. At first we were a little worried the process wouldn’t work as they were two very different characters, BB loved zooming around and sitting with our cat, Bunny Moo was shy and lacked confidence. How wrong we were!

We started slow, two separate pens in our front room, gradually moving them closer to each other, gradually sharing scents and supervised contact. All slow and steady steps, taken following the guidance provided by the wonderful Susie! After a month or two, they finally spent a decent amount of time together and finally moved in together and they couldn’t be happier!

Rabbit bonding RSPCA
BB and Bunny Moo

Giving back to our community!

This year we have extended our animal welfare support to pet owners to include cats, to help people get ready for compulsory cat microchipping, which comes into affect on 10 June 2024.

Between Jan and March this year, we have helped a total of 66 cats, 52 rabbits and 75 guinea pigs. 

Help us spread the word about our next Cat Welfare event taking place at the Salford Pets at Home store, running 19 May 2024 from 11.00am to 3.00pm. It is a free event and there is no booking required, although donations are always welcome on the day! We offer free microchipping, claw clipping and welfare checks.

Our Rabbit and Guinea Pigs events run on the 4th May and the 16th June. Our team of volunteers will be offering free claw clipping, grooming and welfare checks. 

RSPCA Manchester and Salford - VOLUNTEER - Sharon

Raise The Roof

Like everyone, we have seen an overwhelming rise in costs across every area of the charity; from animal food to veterinary costs, from utilities to rent. It has put us under a great deal of pressure, so this March we decided to launch our first-ever Crowdfunder called Raise the Roof. The goal was to raise enough money to pay for 3 months’ rent at the animal centre so we could keep the roof over our animals’ heads. People were given the opportunity to receive a reward for their pledge, such as sponsoring an animal or animal pen.

Our amazing community of animal lovers absolutely blew us away with their incredible generosity. In total, we received 84 pledges and raised over £4000 in total! Thanks to everyone’s support we have succeeded in securing a safe and warm place for so many animals to stay whilst they receive the care they so desperately need.

Raise the roof

Happy endings

Orlando Swoon was rescued at just 12 weeks old having been found all alone and unable to bear weight on one of his legs. He had suffered a terrible fracture that required complex surgery to repair. To set Orlando on the road to recovery he required specialist care, lots of love and plenty of vet trips! But after 95 days in our care he was adopted by a local family who instantly fell for his handsome good looks and charming personality. Orlando came in as a kitten and left as a cat!

Orlando RSPCA

Another happy ending comes from Bunny Boy Butch. His life prior to coming into our care, was typical of the life that so many pet rabbits experience: confined 24/7 to a hutch. Being a giant breed of rabbit he had little space to move about in and sat day-in-day-out in urine-sodden flooring. Unsurprisingly, it took several months to mend the physical damage he had suffered, but once he began to build his muscle tone and learn how to move about, he found a new lease in life! Despite 4 months of treatment and care, Butch remained patient, gentle and affectionate. He has since been adopted and a gone on to capture even more hearts. He now lives the life of luxury as a free-roaming house rabbit and he even has his own armchair!


How you can help

Despite it still being early in kitten season, we already have 4 nursing queens and a total of 19 kittens in our care. Each year we find it a struggle to feed so many mouths, with some queens and kittens eating as much as 12 pouches of cat food a day; that’s a whole box! We have an Amazon Wishlist where you can buy a gift for one of our animals. Alternatively, you can drop off donations at one of our shops or the Salford Pets at Home collection point. Every pouch of food makes a meal that makes a difference!

4 cute black and white kittens sat on a volunteers lap, looking at the camera.

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