Father and daughter team David and Aimee Bell, aged 5, are set to straddle their space-hoppers in a sponsored hop for their favourite pets this Saturday in Kirkintilloch's Woodhead Park.
And this spring time Fairly Beloved Rabbit Care, a registered Scottish charity, are asking us all to hop on board and raise funds for Glasgow & West Central Scotland's rabbits in need.
'The Big Hop' invites families, schools, nurseries, workplaces and community groups to pull together and run their very own sponsored hop event to raise cash for the rabbits in their care; rabbits that are unwanted or may have come from neglected or abandoned homes and are in desperate need of help to find a permanent, loving home.
David Bell, 32 year-old director of the charity comments, "Despite being the UK's 3rd most popular pet, it continues to be the most misunderstood, abused and neglected pet we have. Even those who think they are caring for their rabbit often haven't taken the time to learn appropriate care and end up potentially damaging the wellbeing of their pet. Our understanding of what rabbits need has changed in recent years and we are hopeful our Big Hop events will help raise awareness and funds to improve this situation in our local area".
Alongside the fundraising activities, Fairly Beloved Rabbit Care's team of volunteers are offering to visit your school, nursery or community group to deliver their awareness displays. "The problem isn't lack of care as much as its lack of awareness," David continues "We hope that by educating existing and potential rabbit owners on better ways to care for rabbits we can not only improve conditions for the rabbits, but teach their owners how to get more fun and interaction out of their pet".
Rabbits entering the service often need a lot of treatment and specialist care at first in order to prepare them for suitable homes. It typically costs in excess of £100 to prepare each rabbit for rehoming, which doesn't include day-to-day food & bedding costs. When it comes to finding a new home the donations received by adopters often only account for 30-50% of what it's cost the organisation to treat them. The surplus is covered by private donations from the charities followers and supporters. As demand increases though, their funds are falling dangerously low.
The organisation, which formed in December 2010 and gained charitable status in November 2011, has very quickly been faced with a high demand for their services. Typically around 40 rabbits are looking to be rehomed at any time, and there is a waiting list of rabbits waiting to enter the service too. Utilising volunteers who act as foster carers caring for the rabbits in their own homes, Fairly Beloved Rabbit Care provide a range of care services including neutering & vaccinations via partner vets throughout the area prior to rehoming any rabbit.
David's wife and Co-director Feona Bell, 24, added, "The Big Hop is a really fun way for families and friends to enjoy the joys of Spring and make a massive difference to Spring's favourite animal."
To get involved in The Big Hop, visit www.thebighop.org or call 0141 280 3272 and start your sponsorship today.
On Saturday the Fairly Beloved Rabbit Care tent with lots of information, games & fun and Giant Continental Rabbits will be at Woodhead Park, Kirkintilloch between 12pm & 4pm.
Please also consider sponsoring David & Aimee via their Just Giving page - http://www.justgiving.com/davidwbell.