Bobby is a 10 month old crossbreed male rabbit who arrived at the Shelter last week. Bobby was bought from Gumtree, an online trading website like Ebay or the buy and sell pages of Facebook. The owner brought their new pet in to the Shelter to see our vets, who encountered one of the worst cases of matted fur they had ever seen. Poor Bobby was clearly in a state of great pain and distress as his fur was so thick it restricted his movement, the result of living in poor conditions and rarely being handled and certainly never brushed.
The new owner decided that, in the best interests of the animal, he should be signed over to us for rehabilitation and rehoming. The vets started by clipping and shaving back as much fur as possible, it’s taken two sessions so far and there is still more to come off! He is now being kept warm in an indoor hutch while we wait for the fur to come back, which could take a month or more. His carer, Rachel, is making sure he gets lots of handling and he’s already responding to being shown affection as well as slowly increasing the amount he moves. Hopefully he’ll be running around with a lush new coat and ready to be rehomed again in 4-6 weeks, but until then we’ll be keeping a careful eye on him and the vets will be seeing him a few more times just to be certain everything is okay.
This case really highlights the dangers of buying pets online. As always, we strongly advise people to “adopt don’t shop” anyway, but buying animals unseen, with no idea of how they were raised or housed, is a very risky business.