This Easter period, a local rabbit rescue charity encourages you to see past the cute baby bunnies of the season and learn more about the real issues affecting pet rabbits.
Recent research suggests that over 1 million of the UK’s pet rabbit population may not be receiving the five basic needs they require as specified within the animal welfare act, and rabbit welfare in particular is thought to be at critical levels as the rabbit appears to be Britain’s most neglected, abandoned and ill-treated pet.
Fairly Beloved Rabbit Care, a registered Scottish charity dedicated to the improvement of rabbit welfare through rescue and education services, are encouraging families, schools and community groups to join in their Easter campaign, “The Big Hop” throughout March and April.
David Bell, director of the charity, said, “Most people know that rabbits are the 3rd most popular pet, but when you start to talk about what rabbits need the majority of people start to make mistakes. This is an issue of education and awareness, not cruelty or deliberate neglect”.
The charity, which has been in operation for just over two years, uses volunteer foster families to care for rabbits in need, whilst permanent homes are found. Many of the rabbits that enter the service have significant health or behavioural problems. The charity will work closely with each rabbit to bring them back to health and rehabilitate them ready for a family home. Rabbits are of all ages too, with new born litters entering the rescue service just as regularly as older rabbits.
Their Big Hop campaign invites people to get actively involved, either through fundraising activities or by inviting the charity to attend local schools, nurseries and community groups to offer an interactive rabbit welfare talk featuring rabbit handling sessions.
“We’d love as many people as possible to hold their own sponsored hop event,” David continues, “It’s a great opportunity for some family fun during the Easter period, and can easily raise some much need funds for the rabbits in desperate need of help”.
With an estimated 67,000 rabbits in rescue services throughout the UK, and thousands more being rehomed privately through classifieds and social media networks, the message is clear to those who are considering a rabbit this Easter.
“Make it a chocolate one”, David says, “and if you still want a rabbit after Easter contact us or your local rescue centre and adopt rather than buy from a pet shop or a breeder. As well as a healthy, loving pet you will get lots of up to date advice and support that is less likely to be available from commercial organisations”.
For more information on how you can get involved with The Big Hop visit http://www.thebighop.org or call Fairly Beloved Rabbit Care on 0141 280 3272. The team will also be holding a Big Hop event at the David Livingstone Centre on Good Friday and Easter Saturday as part of the National Trust for Scotland’s Easter Events.
Christmas is over. The New Year has begun. And now our attention falls to the next big holiday: yes, Easter is coming! And in preparation for it, Fairly Beloved Rabbit Care are launching their "The Big Hop" campaign for 2013!
From January until April 2013 we'll be inviting the charity's supporters and local community and school groups to take part in their own sponsorship events. These sponsored hops will help raise much needed funds for FBRC during the Easter period.
We're also inviting nurseries, schools, youth groups and other community organisations to invite us to hold our interactive "The Big Hop" awareness demonstrations and talks: Learn why "Rabbits need SHEDS" and how the UK's 3rd most popular pet continues to be our most abandoned and neglected.
We'll soon be sharing plans for various events that will be happening as part of the campaign. We'd love you to get involved, so start thinking about your own sponsored event. Perhaps you could do a sponsored bungee jump, space hopper race or trampoline event with your friends or family? Checkout http://www.thebighop.org for further details, including downloadable sponsorship packs, educational materials and children's games and factsheets.
And don't forget to watch this space for further details on The Big Hop 2013!
Next week, FBRC volunteers will be visiting one of the classes to deliver our Big Hop Education & Awareness talk, an interactive classroom discussion about rabbit care and welfare.
Later in the week, the class will then be doing their own sponsored hop as they complete an assault course on space hoppers to raise funds for the rabbits in the care of Fairly Beloved Rabbit Care.
The Big Hop, FBRC's Easter Fundraising & Awareness campaign, runs through until the end of May, so there's plenty of time for you to get involved too. Why not arrange your own sponsored hop event, or invite us to your school, nursery, or community group?
You can sponsor the class at Chatelherault on their Just Giving page.
We’re running a Big Hop Event on Saturday 21st April 2012 at Woodhead Park, Kirkintilloch.
David & Aimee’s Sponsored Space Hopper will happen on the day, and we’d love more of you to join us too. Could you do a sponsored hop round the park? Maybe join us on a Space-hopper too? Or Pogo stick? Bunny hop on your BMX? It’s great for all ages, from 2 year olds through to 90s, whether you do a two minute hop or hop for hours!
Also on the day, we’ll have our awareness & fundraising tent on hand with lots of information and advice on hand for caring for your rabbit. Meet our Giant Rabbits, and meet some of our rescued rabbits looking for a new home. We’ll have charity collections and our Prize Every Time Lucky Dip.
Saturday 21st April, 12pm until 4pm @ Woodhead Park, Kirkintilloch, G66 3DD
We have three prize packs to give away, each consisting of:
An FBRC T-Shirt (size, colour & design of your choosing).
A Rabbit Hand Puppet
A Rabbit Slap-on Wrist Watch (your chosen colour)
A box of Cadbury Caramel Bunnies
"In the Name Of Parsley" Book
We've got three prize categories:
BIG Funds - the person or group to raise the most amount of money for FBRC between now and 31st May 2012. You must have a Just Giving page, but we will also include any offline funds you manage to raise as long as we receive your sponsorship forms and payment no later than 31st May 2012.
BIG Team - the person who organises a fundraising event sponsorship involving the largest number of active participants (i.e. the number of people doing the sponsorship, not including spectators or sponsors).
BIG Idea - the person who organises the most interesting or unique fundraising idea (as judged by the FBRC Management Committee).
Maximum one prize pack per fundraising page.
Keep us updated with what you're doing too - we'll add updates to our news page, facebook & twitter pages which will help to keep people following your event and may improve your chances of winning.