13 rabbits found abandoned in cardboard box

An animal welfare charity has expressed shock after 13 rabbits were found abandoned in a cardboard box.

They were found on Wednesday in the Green Road area of Camlough in Co Armagh.

There was a mother, a father and 11 babies, six of which were furless, indicating they were less than seven days old.

They were discovered by a member of the public walking their dog and were immediately brought to the attention of the USPCA.

The animal welfare charity said the rabbits were in distress and freezing, adding that without any intervention they would have died.

Colleen Tinnelly, USPCA chief operating officer, said the charity was “horrified and appalled that someone abandoned these poor defenceless animals”.

“They were essentially left to die at the roadside. The USPCA condemns the actions of the individual responsible for the abandonment,” she said.

“Once again, we have been reminded that there are cruel, heartless individuals out there who do not care for the welfare of their animals.

“We plea with the public to do their research before getting a pet to prevent cases like this happening.

“Each animal – be it a dog, bunny or cat – has its own set of needs and unless you are able to meet these needs and give the animal the best life possible, do not consider getting a pet.

“Thankfully, following examination from our veterinary team, the bunnies are in good health. However, this could have been a very different story if they had not been found and brought into our care.

“We commend and thank the member of the public for bringing them into our care, rather than leaving them to a slow and agonising death at the side of the road.”