Demand for pets from Wakefield RSPCA rocketed during lockdown - but these small furries have been left behind

The RSPCA saw an increase in demand for pets during 2020 - but today the charity is highlighting those animals in West Yorkshire that need special care and attention due to their difficult start in life.

Monday, 18th October 2021, 11:13 am
Updated Monday, 18th October 2021, 11:14 am
Sheila and Shirley

The charity saw a 101 per cent increase in searches for small companion animals - rabbits, guinea pigs and hamsters - on its website’s ‘FindAPet’ search following the first year of the pandemic.

This increase in demand has meant 2,080 rabbits were found loving new homes by the RSPCA in 2020 - with 25 in West Yorkshire - however some are still waiting to find their perfect home.

RSPCA rabbit welfare expert Dr Jane Tyson said: “Rabbits and small furries are very misunderstood, they have complex needs and need a lot of care and attention.

Frosty and Blizzard

“However, they are also very rewarding pets and given the right housing, socialising, diet and care they can become much loved members of the family.

“Adopting may take more time than just buying but it is more rewarding as often you are rescuing that animal from a history of mistreatment of neglect.

“It also means we are freeing up space in our centres so more needy animals can move in to receive the care they need.

“We have lots of information on our website to help support new owners and we also have the newly created The Good Practice Code for the Welfare of Rabbits.

“It’s really positive to see so many people are now searching for rescue animals as they become more aware this is an option and hopefully we can help find those less popular animals in our care the right home too.”

Animals needing homes today:

Frosty and Blizzard - These two white, male and female, friendly bunnies are looking to be rehomed as a pair and are currently in the care of the Leeds, Wakefield and district branch of the RSPCA.

Frosty is a handsome boy aged about one and Blizzard is a female aged about two - both are sweet, fluffy and fun and like to do everything together.

While Frosty is younger with bright red eyes and a sense of fun Blizzard is bigger and wiser than her best friend. They both enjoy climbing onto laps for attention - but most of all they love to crunch a carrot for their midday snack.

They will need plenty of space in their new home and enjoy exploring outside. Further information about the bonded pair can be found here.

Sheila and Shirley - These adorable pair of brown female rats are looking for their fur-ever home where they can live happily together and are currently in the care of the RSPCA Halifax, Huddersfield and Bradford branch.

Sheila and Shirley love nothing more than curling up for a nice rat nap together. They are friendly, and enjoy being handled. Sheila is the shyer of the pair, but a few treats and she's your best friend!

Rats need lots of space to play and exhibit natural behaviours. The RSPCA can offer help and advice with accommodation. More information can be found about Shirley and Sheila here.

To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care please visit the website or call the donation line on 0300 123 8181.