Steph and Matt are just like any other ordinary couple. Like other people they like to keep pets. However, they have a few more pets than the average family. This is Cottingley’s first domestic rabbit refuge and Steph and Matt are heading it up, bringing awareness to the community about the upkeep of rabbits with an aim to rehouse the breeds to good homes.
It all started in September last year (2013) when a friend of a work colleague needed help looking after her five rabbits. Steph offered to take them in and realised they all needed a lot more care than first realised. After spending time nurturing them and giving them the correct diet and exercise she rehabilitated them back to bunny hopping health.
Realising their talent to save rabbits, Steph and Matt’s sanctuary has grown through word of mouth and they have begun to accept more breeds, from strays to pets from neighbours. Now only five months later they have 20 rabbits in their back garden.
Luckily Steph and Matt’s garden is a bit bigger than others in the area, and each rabbit has it’s own hutch and run with free reign of the garden. The raised fencing on all sides and help from supportive neighbours, creates a safe and secure habitat for the rabbits. Not only have they become quite famous in the area, the couple are sending out the message of what is exactly involved when caring for rabbits as well as helping them find new homes.
Steph has found fulfillment in her new hobby and says how much you can learn from them;
“Rabbits are fascinating and very loving when cared for in the right way. Rabbits are generally misunderstood creatures, and socialisation with other rabbits is important for them to thrive”
Steph and Matt are registered on www.saveafluff.co.uk which is a website designed to help people to think about rehoming rabbits first before buying one from a pet shop. They are also part of the Rabbit Welfare Association Fund www.rabbitwelfare.co.uk and ‘A Hutch is Not Enough’ message that helps encourage people to think about their rabbits environment and anything else you need to know about caring for rabbits before getting one (or two).
Efforts to promote their growing brood and raise awareness have been driven by a bun sale at a recent Christmas Fair in Cottingley, it’s also a useful conversation starter to have a rabbit with you at the same time. Through this the couple have been delighted with the response from the community and they now receive donations of food, hay and wood shavings for the general upkeep of the rabbits.
Not only have the couple helped to re house rabbits they also bring volunteering opportunities to the immediate area. Each weekend the garden is opened up to local families and children who help clear out the hutches, they also get an idea of what is involved when looking after a pet.
Not only have Steph and Matt really channeled their interests into saving animals they’ve engaged the community in doing so as well.
If you would like to get in touch with Steph please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.