Animal Rescue with Marion Garnett
Dedicated animal expert Marion Garnett, founder of the Ealing Animal Charities Fair, continues her column
THE first thing the pizza delivery man said was “That box is moving”. It was early evening and he was outside the gates of the National Animal Welfare Trust (NAWT) rehoming centre.
Down on the ground was an enclosed box that clearly had something inside that was alive.
Despite being hungry this needed to be sorted out before the animal carer could eat. Picking the box up, she took it inside before lifting the lid. She didn’t want whatever was inside to jump out and be lost.
Inside were four rabbits – since named Winnie, Eeyore, Tigger and Piglet. Yes, you’ve guessed who they’re named after.
Now guess the next bit of news. Three are pregnant. The fourth one is probably Dad.
The carer phoned the centre manager, Jackie De Friez, to tell her, then settled the newcomers in for the night. Jackie emphasises that if you can no longer keep your animal, there’s no need to abandon them, all you have to do is to give them a call and they will do all they can to help you.
NAWT is among several charities such as Battersea Dogs and Cats Home (battersea.org.uk), Dogs Trust (dogstrust.org.uk) and Cat Chat (catchat.org) which have on their website what to do if you need to give up your pet.
Once the decision has been made, you need to contact a reputable animal rehoming centre as soon as possible as, although the urgency of each case is likely to be considered individually, the animal may have to go on a waiting list before it can be admitted.
The problem of what to do if, unexpectedly, you can no longer look after your pet highlights one of the advantages of getting a pet from a rescue centre. If you can no longer keep them, a reputable rescue will usually take them back. Now back to the abandoned rabbits. When the babies have been born and are ready to leave Mum, adults and babies will be ready for homing.
If you’re interested see details at nawt.org.uk or call 020 8950 0177. And, when thinking of how to house them, do remember the saying that A Hutch is Not Enough.
You can see more information on rabbit housing and care at rabbitwelfare.co.uk.
Finally NAWT are holding its open day on Sunday May 15 (11am to 4pm). There will be stalls, games, agility and a dog show. For details, including parking arrangements, see nawt.org.uk. The rehoming centre is at Tylers Way, Watford by Pass WD25 8WT.