CUMNOCK and Doon Valley residents are being reminded that rabbits are for life, not just for Easter.

The Scottish SPCA are advising the public against buying rabbits as Easter gifts for fear of a surge in abandonments.

Last year a staggering 493 pet rabbits across Scotland and this year is proving to be challenging as well with 116 rabbits already taken in.

Scottish SPCA chief superintendent Mike Flynn said:”There are lots of loving rabbit owners who treat their pets like one of the family but sadly this isn’t true in all cases.”

“The biggest issue is rabbits being put in a hutch and left at the bottom of the garden, with many enduring a life of solitude and boredom.

Cumnock Chronicle:

“We have come across many cases where rabbits have been left with horrifically overgrown teeth and nails. Rabbits need hay to gnaw on to keep their teeth in good condition, as well as regular nail trimming.

“They also need plenty of toys and tunnels to keep them occupied and ideally, rabbits should be bonded with a companion but where this isn’t possible they’ll need enough human contact to keep them stimulated.

“Rabbits are highly intelligent and sociable animals who can make fantastic family pets, though we strongly advise parents that they and not their children need to take responsibility for their welfare.