What a way to treat an Easter bunny! 17 rabbits dumped in ditch at Outwell

One of the abandoned rabbits. Picture: RSPCA

One of the abandoned rabbits. Picture: RSPCA - Credit: Archant

The RSPCA is caring for 12 rabbits after 17 were dumped in cages which were thrown into a roadside ditch.

The filthy cages the animals were dumped in. Piccture: RSPCA

The filthy cages the animals were dumped in. Piccture: RSPCA - Credit: Archant

Eight adults and four babies were caught, two were found dead and three more still on the loose after being abandoned at Outwell, near Downham Market, on Easter Monday.

The creatures were dumped in two damaged, dirty cages. The cage tops had rolled into the dyke and the two plastic bottoms were laying on the grass.

A member of the public discovered the cages and the rabbits and spent a large amount of time catching them. They confined the rabbits at their home before the RSPCA arrived.

Sadly three rabbits were too nervous and agile to be caught and ran off from the location where they were dumped.

The rabbits are now being cared for. Picture: RSPCA

The rabbits are now being cared for. Picture: RSPCA - Credit: Archant

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RSPCA animal welfare officer Kathy Hornig said: 'This is one of the most heartbreaking incidents I have been to in recent times, I think it was more upsetting given that they were dumped on Easter Monday - a day when people usually celebrate the Easter bunny, not treat them in such a callous way.

'I cannot thank the members of the public enough who spotted the rabbits and then spent time trying to catch them. Once again kind-hearted people are being left to pick up the pieces because of other people's heartless actions.

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'The eight rabbits - five female and three males - were taken in to the care of the RSPCA Peterborough and District Branch 'Sadly none of the adult females were the mum of the four babies, which are between a week and 10 days old, so the youngsters have been taken home to a fosterer because they are still so young.

'Two of the adults had extremely long teeth, which had been left untreated, so they will require some veterinary equipment.

'The incident was reported in Chalk Road, Outwell, just before 10am. I would appeal to anyone who may have been in the area or seen anyone acting suspiciously to contact me. I would also like to hear from anyone who may know of someone who had such a large number of rabbits and now they don't. Please call me on the RSPCA's appeal line in complete confidence on 0300 123 8018.'

Figures show that the RSPCA has seen around 800 abandonment complaints for rabbits each year. So far in 2018 there have been 198 rabbits abandoned since January. Rabbits are one of the most neglected pets in Britain.

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