and they’ve left them behind.
“The animals then haven’t been discovered for quite some time, and they are often in quite a terrible state.”
Two rabbits, Hairy Mary and Cupcake, were found in a box in a field in Crewe, Cheshire.
Both were discovered very matted, but as Hairy Mary’s fur was so severely tangled, they later discovered the team had misidentified his gender.
Susie also explained that it’s not unusual for rabbits to come in with claws so long they’re unable to walk.
At the time of writing, there were 20 unplanned and unwanted litters at RSPCA Manchester & Salford, which can be attributed to a number of reasons.
Common scenarios include owners mistakenly being sold the wrong gender of baby rabbits, or not realising that female rabbits can conceive at just five months old, and can conceive again days after giving birth, and the expense of preventative health care, such as vaccinations and neutering. The same goes for cats. While neutering costs £120 for female rabbits, £70 for a male, up to £80 for a female cat and around £60 for a male cat, the RSPCA already has it covered upon adoption.
Susie said: “To keep the cat population on a steady level, we need to have a neuter rate of around 92 per cent of the population.
“It’s been at about 89 per cent for a little while; so I think it’s around finances.
“Then you have owners who have a male cat and allow that tomcat to go and populate the neighbourhood, because it’s not their problem.
“Another reason to come and adopt is because we’ve done the neutering for you”.
In 2018, the RSPCA carried out 211,699 microchippings, neuterings and treatments.
The most common requests at RSPCA Manchester & Salford are for kittens, and colour is important. Ginger, tabbies, grey, and white fur are popular choices, however black, and black and white cats and kittens get left behind, and the same goes for albino rabbits and feather-haired breeds who have slim chances of being re-homed.
If cats haven’t managed to be rehomed in eight weeks, then they are moved into a foster home so they can live a normal life.
If rabbits haven’t found a home within two to three months, then they are given out to another branch to increase their chances of getting snapped up.
RSPCA Manchester & Salford have five charity shops – in the Northern Quarter, Withington, Chorlton, Didsbury; and Urmston.
They’re funded through these stores, fundraising events, adoption fees and AmazonSmile - the website which sees Amazon donate 0.5 per cent on every purchase, and being charity of the year at Pets At Home.
Susie said: “Last month we received £50 from Amazon, which is brilliant when it’s such a small percentage.
“And we’re so thankful to Pets At Home customers because the vouchers have kept us going in wood and litter all year.”
There are now 45 volunteers at the branch.
Volunteer Sharon, who also fosters, has been at the branch for two years.
She looks after seven guinea pigs from a newly-born litter, and one hamster.
She visits the centre twice a week after her shift working in a 9-5 office job, and her daughter volunteers on Saturdays.
She said: “When I am here, I find it relaxing. Even if I’m just cleaning, it helps me chill out and there’s nothing better than kissing kittens.”
Another volunteer Kyle, 23, visits the branch once a week for three hours.
“I enjoy doing something good for the animals and they really need human contact”, he said.
Over the Christmas period, the centre is requesting donations of fleecy blankets to help keep the animals warm during the colder months.
RSPCA manager Susie Hughes