Rescue operation after rabbits dumped on Nelson hillside

THREE pet rabbits which were dumped on a field on the hillside above Nelson have been rescued – and have now been found new homes.

Wednesday, 6th March 2013, 3:03 pm
Jasmine Thwaites (10), Margaret Harrop and Moira Thwaites appeal for a new home for three rabbits found abandoned on the moors in Nelson.

A couple walking their dog spotted somebody abandoning the pets and took action to save them.

It happened on land off Bank Lane on the Pennine Hills between Nelson and Trawden on Thursday last week. And Margaret Harrop, from Lowthwaite Drive, Nelson, spotted the incident along with her husband and then contacted near-neighbour Moira Thwaites in the hope of saving their lives.

Moira, of Kelswick Drive, Nelson, said: “They shouldn’t have dropped pet rabbits off like that. They were dumped. The young man who dumped them in the field then did a runner.”

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Margaret called at Moira’s home and they then rang the RSPCA, but there was advice that the rabbits might not be findable by the time an RSCPA officer could get there. So they went to try and rescue them. They were joined by Emma Anderson from Colne, who was walking her dogs up there, but who actually owns 16 rabbits herself. Margaret and Emma made the search and Moira was there with a cat box to put them in.

They found two, but worried about the third one. But they did then find it. They were taken to Stanley House Veterinary Surgery for a check-up, and they were established as a male and two females.

Moira then bought a big cage to keep the females in, and borrowed another for the male. But they have now been collected by people who are going to give them new homes, one of them going to Margaret’s son!

Moira pointed out that the RSCPA had made it clear that, if you abandon rabbits in the countryside, they can die from eating poison plants, and she added: “These rabbits had all been looked after well and were not skinny. You don’t know why somebody who has looked after them like that may have dumped them like that. I’m glad to get new places for them.”

It isn’t her first pet rescue. She rescued a greyhound 10 years ago, and the pet Millie is still with her and has taken interest in the rabbits while they stayed with her in their cages.