A privately run rabbit and guinea pig sancturary in Walcott has benefitted from a major dontion to help sustain the 80-plus animals currently being looked after there.
Kay Chadwick started up KBC rabbit and guinea pig sanctuary eight years ago.
It is self funding, based at Walcott, near Billinghay, and provides a safe haven for unwanted pet rabbits, guinea pigs and hamsters. Some of the younger, fitter rabbits are available for adoption and Kay aims to give the animals the best possible care.
Craft maker Cat Darby runs Cats Punky Stuff, based in North Kyme and always pledges to donate a percentage of the money she makes from her sales to animal charities. this year, Kay’s cause was chosen after Cat adopted a rabbit from her.
Kay said: “I was asked for a list of items - food, bedding and water bottles that I needed to help me. She bought the stuff and delivered it by van along with a £5 donation for more fresh vegetables.”
Kay was very grateful and also wished to thank Scott Trailers for providing sweat shirts and waist coats to keep the volunteers warm, Jane Barnes for her help selling items on stalls to raise funds to keep the sanctuary going and others who have donated items for sale.
Kay said she has been getting groups of up to 10 giunea pigs handed in at a time and is looking after over 40 of them, along with the same amount of rabbits in indoor hutches and runs she uses to keep them warm and dry.
She said: “The younger rabbits usually get adopted out again while the old ones stay with me, as do the guinea pigs as they tend to be older when they come in. Children get less interested in them as they grow up or people work too many hours to care for them.”
Kay, who is fully vetted by the RSPCA, said a lot of rescue centres no longer take the animals in. She said it started for her when people asked her for advice about what to do when they needed to rehome their bunnies and guinea pigs. She has owned rabbits since she was 14.
She said: “Sometimes they have lost a guinea pig and the other one is upset and they want to know what to do. Sometimes people would tell me if someone did not take them away they would just release them.”
The sanctuary has arrangements with friendly local vets who help out where needed.Kay said: “Some you find have been overfed and are overweight and unable to wash themselves properly. Or you will get owners who cannot afford to feed them anymore meaning they are underweight.
She is always happy to adopt out animals as long as they are healthy and has rehomed at least 200. She said: “I would not adopt out a rabbit that is ol. You don’t want to upset children if you know it will not live long, however an adopted rabbit is for the whole host family - not just the children as the adults need to take responsibility for its welfare too - they bought it.
“It is something I believe in doing and feel so sorry for the amount of animals that are not cared for, but it is a drain financially and I am self-funding.”