Submitted by Steve on 16:44, 14th May, 2014 | 0

At the GSPCA we rescue, rehabilitate and rehome between 100 and 200 rabbits every year.

Each May Rabbit Awareness Week takes place and rescues highlight the rabbits in their care, those needed homes and good practice caring for rabbits.

Often called the forgotten pet the GSPCA are often called out to rabbits in need that may have dirty cages, no fresh food and very little to do.

Rabbits are highly social animals and really need company, but it is very important to neuter and vaccinate them at the same time.

This week we have rescued 4 baby bunnies which are currently being fostered and have only just opened their eyes.

The baby bunnies have been called Acadia, Ashanti, Avalon and Azizi and although they are very difficult to hand rear they are with experienced hands.

Currently at the Shelter we have 5 rabbits at the GSPCA looking for new homes.

Bonny is the largest rabbit at the Shelter. She is one year old and was found on the cliffs with fly strike July last year.  She has a wonderful temperament and is extremely friendly.  She does like her food and is currently on a diet.

Bunny came in last year as she wasn't very well cared for in her previous home.  Bunny is one of the cheeky ladies at the Shelter and she is a young adult.

Doretta is the longest stay rabbit at the Shelter and has been here since December 2012.  She is a Dutch bunny and we would love to find her a forever home.  

Eternity is a very sporty bunny and was found being extremely friendly near Beau Sejour.  She has been at the Shelter since March and is a lovely lady.

Sarah is another Dutch bunny and she came in extremely thin and having not being well cared for.  Now looking very well she would love a forever home.

At the Shelter after the Winter and not on nights when fireworks are being set off our rabbits are kept in large outdoor runs which are on sale at the Shelter for £185 and can be delivered.

The Rabbit Awareness Week website is full of excellent information and here is some on your rabbits diet and dental care -


We know rabbits as 'fibrevores' because fibre is absolutely essential for their dental, digestive and emotional health.

Good quality hay and/or grass should make up the majority of a rabbits' diet and should be available at all times.

Change one thing

Ensure your rabbits' are getting plenty of good quality hay such as Burgess Excel Herbage and Forage


Rabbits' continuously growing teeth (especially molars) must be kept worn by chewing grass and hay; otherwise the teeth crowns grow too long. If the top and bottom teeth start pressing together when the mouth is closed, the teeth can no longer grow upwards. Instead they grow backwards into the jaw. It's these overgrown tooth roots projecting into the jaw and skull that cause so many problems for fibrevores. Uneven wear can also result in sharp spurs developing on the sides of the cheek teeth. These spurs cause painful damage to the soft tissues of the cheeks and the tongue each time the rabbits move their mouths.

Signs that a rabbit is suffering from dental problems are runny eyes, jaw swellings, facial abscesses, difficulty eating, a reduction in the amount of faeces being produced and a reduced interest in eating hay. If you observe any of these symptoms please consult your vet immediately.

Feed your rabbits plenty of fibre

Rabbits need two kinds of fibre in their diet; digestible and indigestible, together we call this Beneficial Fibre. The first gives them essential nutrients and the second keeps their digestive system moving effectively.

Indigestible fibre passes through their digestive system and is excreted as separate, round, hard droppings. This process keeps the digestive system moving and stimulates their appetite.

Digestible fibre is moved up into an organ called the caecum - this is like a giant appendix. Good bacteria in the caecum ferment the fibre which then emerges in the form of clumps of sticky droppings called caecotrophs. Rabbits then re-eat the caecotrophs directly from their bottoms and their systems extract essential nutrition as the digestible fibre passes through the stomach and intestines for the second time. Rabbits will eat the caecotrophs directly as they pass from the body, generally at quite times of the day/ night, so in a healthy rabbit caecotrophs should never be seen. Finding caecotrophs in the hutch or stuck to your rabbit can be a sign of poor gut health, and you should seek advice from your vet.

Failing to provide adequate portions of the right kind of fibre can rapidly lead to illness, which can sometimes be fatal.

Change one thing

Rabbits should be fed at least their own body size in good quality hay, every day

Selective Feeding

Rabbits fed on muesli-style foods will often selectively feed. This is where they pick out the high starch elements of the diet and leave the rest (typically the pellet /high fibre elements). Selective feeding leads to the consumption of an unbalanced diet. In addition, hay intake and water intake are lower when muesli is fed leading to other potential dental and digestive issues. Over 90% of vets do not believe muesli style foods should be sold for pet rabbits*.

If you are currently feeding a muesli style food to your rabbits you should gradually transfer your pets onto a hay and nugget based feeding plan over a period of between 14 and 28 days, by gradually reducing the amount of muesli and increasing the proportion of nuggets until they have completely replaced the mix. Remember that good quality hay and/or grass should make up the majority of your rabbits’ diet and should be available at all times. Rabbits should also be fed a small amount of leafy greens each day. Please talk to your vet for further information.

*Independent research, conducted by and, 2013.

Gradually change your rabbits diet over to a nugget and hay based diet over a period of 2 weeks. Emotional In the wild 70% of rabbits' time above ground is spent searching for grass, hay, plants, herbs and bark to eat.

This foraging behaviour keeps rabbits busy, stimulated and exercised. So the right diet is essential to rabbits' emotional happiness. -

See more at:

To download a poster to advertise the Hedgehog Competition please click here.

To download a poster to advertise the Hedgehog Awareness Poster Competition please click here.

Create a GSPCA Awareness Poster for Hedgehogs

Age groups –

4 – 7 years old (infants)

7 – 11 years old (juniors)

Some ideas could include:

Watch out for hedgehogs on the road waking up from hibernation

Hedgehogs out in the day time could mean there is something wrong

Please put out clean drinking water for hedgehogs over the summer

Check for hedgehogs before cutting the lawn/grass

Discard of rubbish properly - especially netting/wires

Make sure your swimming pool/pond is easily escapable

Do not put slug pellets down as they are poisonous

Don't touch a nest until sure you need to intervene

Cut holes in fence bottoms to allow hedgehogs to pass through gardens

Watch your dogs around hedgehogs- either one could get hurt

Other points to add:

Phone GSPCA for advice/emergency: 01481 257261

Advice on the GSPCA Webpage-


Prizes for the top 3 in each age group.

Send your posters with your name, age, contact number and school on the back to [email protected] or to the Shelter at

Guernsey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
Rue du Truchots
St Andrews
Guernsey, Channel Islands

Closing date 6/6/14. Winners will be announced on the 13/6/14

Build a Hedgehog House

2014 Competition

Design and build a hedgehog house to be used in your own or friends garden!

There are two age group categories:

7 to 11 years (Junior age)

11 to 16 years (secondary age)

The top three from each group will be contacted to be judged and there are PRIZES for the top 3 designs in each group!

The house structure must be:


- Big enough to make a nest

- Safe from predators

- Camouflaged

What could you use to build the house?

 - Logs                          

- Old plastic box

- Bricks

- Wood

- Pots

- Anything else - Be as creative as you like!

Try the internet and our website for more inspiration!

Last thing to do is take a beautiful photograph then email it to us along with your age, full name and contact number to:

[email protected]

Closing date 6/6/14. Winners will be announced on the 13/6/14

Good luck and have fun!

Please be careful when building your hog houses

 Work with an adult to put it together as you may need to use grown-up tools

We currently have two stunning cats called Trio and Trouble needing operations. To donate to help them please click on this link, call 01481 257261, by post or popping into the Shelter.

Donate with JustGiving and PayPal

GSPCA, Rue des Truchots, St Andrews, Guernsey, GY6 8UD

To find out about our Events, how to become a Member, Sponsor an Animal Pen, our Wish List, Corporate Sponsorship & Volunteering, , our New Build & Redevelopment Appeal and much more please click here.

To find out about GSPCA training and courses at the Shelter please click here.

There are many ways to support the work of the GSPCA and you can even donate online by clicking the paypal link below.

Donate with JustGiving and PayPal

Have you liked us on facebook yet or joined us on twitter?

Like GSPCA Guenrsey Animal Shelter on facebookFollow the GSPCA Animal Shelter in Guernsey on twitter


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