RABBITS may seem like cheap and cheerful pets that require minimal care but an animal welfare organisation is warning this misconception is leading to thousands being abandoned.

Action for Rabbits is looking for volunteers to help teach people the reality of having a domestic rabbit and reduce the number in need of rescuing, which currently stands at more than 67,000 a year.

Area manager Nia Faulder, from Westhoughton, has been tasked with building a volunteer base.

She said: “A lot of people don’t realise how much looking after a rabbit takes. They are so cheap that people just buy them on a whim and don’t think it through.

“One of our aims is to educate people on how to look after their rabbit properly because they need the same care and attention as a dog or a cat.

“We hold stalls at exhibitions and need volunteers to help us do this and to help us fundraise.

“So many rescues are full and can’t take any more rabbits in, but it doesn’t occur to people to come to them if they want a pet because so many are bred and you can just pick them up from any pet shop.

“One of the main problems is accidental litters — people come home with what they think are two boys and all of a sudden they have got a litter to deal with.

“A lot of people will just leave them in a sack somewhere and forget about them and that’s where we come in.”

A meeting for people who wish to volunteer is being held Leigh Miner’s Welfare Club on Twist Lane on February 24 from 6pm, or contact Nia on nia@actionforrabbits.co.uk.