22 July 2014

RSPCA WA is calling out to remind pet owners about the responsibility of caring for all creatures great and small after an Orelia man was today fined $12,000 for severely neglecting his pet rabbits that resulted in three of the animals dying.

Warning: images and content in this media release are of a graphic nature and will disturb viewers

Chief Inspector Amanda Swift expressed great concern for rabbits that become the "forgotten pet" of too many households.

The RSPCA attended the man's property and found six rabbits housed in poor conditions with no access to food or water. The three deceased rabbits had been left in a hutch with surviving rabbits.

Rabbits neglected in Orelia 2014Upon questioning, the accused was aware the rabbits had perished however was too busy at work to attend to them. The surviving rabbits were seized by the Inspector due to concerns for their welfare. A later veterinary assessment found the remaining rabbits to be in varying states of severe malnutrition.

"Unfortunately for rabbits they are very cute and too often are bought on impulse or as a child's pet and end up left in a cage at the bottom of the garden and neglected. Rabbits have needs just like dogs and cats and have social needs too. Just because they are quiet and able to be caged makes it easier for people to neglect them which is terribly sad and absolutely unacceptable as today's conviction shows.

"We hope this sends a clear message to all potential small pet owners to think very carefully before deciding to take one on board and ensure you have the interest to meet their needs" said Inspector Swift.

The man received a spent conviction and was also banned from owning any animal for ten years.

Information on responsible ownership of rabbits can be found on RSPCA's knowledge base at http://kb.rspca.org.au/55/