They must have been so frightened. Plucked from the life they knew and abandoned outside one of our rehoming centres in a small carrier, with just a note to say their owner could no longer care for them.

Mr McGregor and Bobtail may have been found by safe hands, but the lack of vital information about them meant that it was harder for our Burford team to settle the rabbits in and work out how best to help them.

Simon Yeats, Animal Welfare Assistant, explained: “We found them in the morning and didn’t know how long they had been left there for; we do have foxes here, so that could have been problematic. Being cooped up, not knowing where they were or what’s going on must have been stressful for them.

“Because they were abandoned like this, we struggled to find out the basics. We didn’t know if they were indoor or outdoor bunnies and, depending on the time of year, that can be difficult. We didn’t know what food they were on and a sudden change in diet can sometimes be a bit of an issue.

Mr McGregor and Bobtail on the sofa with Ali
Mr McGregor and Bobtail with Ali

“Although the note had information about them being neutered and vaccinations, it didn’t state which ones they had had. There are lots of other questions that we would have asked their owner, like finding out about their current accommodation and what they’re like together; things that help us to start building a picture of what they like so that we can match them to a suitable home.”

Thankfully, though, four-year-old Mr McGregor and five-year-old Bobtail were resilient and their friendly, loving nature soon started to shine through.

“They were super lovely”, said Simon. “Mr McGregor, if I ever lied down in his pen with him, would lick my face – and I even have a couple of pictures of him grooming my beard. They were definitely team favourites.”

The two friends soon found a new home but sadly suffered another setback when their owner had to move and could not keep them. We took them in again and gave them all the love and care they needed.

Mr McGregor

Thankfully, sisters Ali and Katie McNeil were on the lookout for a pair of rabbits at just the right time.

And the bunnies have lived in Oxfordshire with the siblings, along with Ali’s partner, Kyle, since November last year.

Ali, who has now fulfilled her childhood dream of owning rabbits, said: “They were a bit shy at the beginning but settled in really well. They were so sweet when they first arrived – they just slept and slept, and cuddled next to us on the sofa.”

And soon enough, Mr McGregor was channelling a hint of his unruly Beatrix Potter character namesake.

“He’s got a bit of a grumpy attitude – he likes to tip bowls or anything you put near him,” said Ali. “But he’s a gorgeous boy; he just wants to be cuddled and licks your hand if you stroke him, it’s really cute.”

Mr McGregor and Bobtail
Mr McGregor and Bobtail are now in a happy home

Meanwhile, Bobtail, who shares a birthday with Ali, is “really inquisitive”.  “She sort of tries to be the ringleader but she isn’t,” said Ali. “She’ll dig holes as well, and I always think she’s a bit like a wild bunny.”

And together, Mr McGregor and Bobtail provide each other – and their owners – with endless entertainment.

“They love running up and down our stairs and stretching their legs. Bobtail does a lot of zoomies, and he [Mr McGregor] binkies, which is when their back legs go wobbly and they jump and flip. They do it a lot, especially when it’s windy, and they collide,” said Ali.

The sadness of the rabbits’ past is now a distant memory, and Katie, Ali and Kyle could not be happier either.

“They’ve brought a lot of love to our lives. They just make me happy whenever I see them. If I’ve had a bad day I just come in the garden and sit and watch them and it makes me happier,” Ali added.

Bobtail lying down outside

— Page last updated 14/08/2019