Rabbit 'dumped in box in Lancashire layby'
A rabbit was dumped in a plastic box in a Lancashire layby and left in the rain and snow, the animal charity RSPCA said.
The animal was found after Kim Sheriff from the RSPCA was called to Woodplumpton Road, Burnley, on Monday afternoon.
She said: "It was so sad. It was raining and snowing and this poor bunny had been left in a box in a secluded layby near open moorland.
"The lid on the box had been blown off so she was wet and cold.
“She’d been left in a black and white plastic box with lots of ventilation holes. There was also a plastic bag of food and a water bottle.”
The rabbit - an adult female nicknamed Willow by Kim - was taken to a vet for a check-up and was found not to be sick or hurt.
Kim said: "She’s a very lucky bunny because she was left in a really vulnerable position. She could have easily escaped the box and been run over or attacked by another animal.
“I believe she was so frightened that she simply cowered in the box until I came along to rescue her.
“She’s a really friendly rabbit so I suspect she’s been a family pet and has been abandoned due to a change or circumstances or a loss of interest. Unfortunately it’s something we see all too often. Rabbits are often bought as pets for children but are a big responsibility and commitment so when the kids lose interest they can be handed over to charities or abandoned.”
Willow, a Dutch rabbit thought to be around 12-months-old, is slightly underweight. She’s now being cared for by staff at the RSPCA’s Manchester and Salford branch. She was not microchipped so will be held for seven days before staff set about looking for a new home for her.
The RSPCA receives around 800 reports of abandoned rabbits in England and Wales each year.