THEY may seem like cheap and cheerful pets requiring minimal care but a welfare organisation is warning this misconception is leading to thousands of rabbits being abandoned.

Action for Rabbits is looking for volunteers to help teach people the reality of owning a domestic rabbit and reduce the number in need of rescuing - currently more than 67,000 a year.

Area manager Nia Faulder has been tasked with building a volunteer base.

She said: "A lot of people don't realise how much looking after a rabbit takes.

"They are so cheap that people just buy them on a whim and don't think it through. One of our aims is to educate people on how to look after their rabbits properly because they need the same care and attention as a dog or a cat.

"We hold stalls at exhibitions and need volunteers to help us do this and fundraise. So many rescues are full and can't take any more rabbits but it doesn't occur to people to come to them if they want a pet.

"One of the main problems is accidental litters - people come home with what they think are two boys and all of a sudden they have a litter to deal with. A lot of people just leave them somewhere, increasing the number that need rescuing."

n A meeting for people interested in volunteering is being held at Leigh Miner's Welfare Club, on Twist Lane, on February 24 from 6pm, or contact Nia on