Family fun for St Albans rabbit sanctuary

AN evening of fun, games and music is being held this weekend to raise much-needed funds for a rabbit and guinea pig sanctuary. The harsh winter has meant that the animals under Ruth Oddie s care at Agatha s Annex in Tarrant Drive, Harpenden, have got thr

AN evening of fun, games and music is being held this weekend to raise much-needed funds for a rabbit and guinea pig sanctuary.

The harsh winter has meant that the animals under Ruth Oddie's care at Agatha's Annex in Tarrant Drive, Harpenden, have got through more bedding and food than ever and she is holding a fundraising event to help her replenish stocks.

The family fun night is taking place at the village hall in Slip End on Saturday (March 13) from 7.30pm, and the entertainment includes bingo, 70s sing-along and a kids karaoke competition.

Ruth established Agatha's Annex eight years ago when her two rabbits were killed by foxes and she started using their empty cages to take in unwanted rabbits and guinea pigs.


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She now has 30 cages in her back garden but the sanctuary is full to capacity and she isn't able to take in any more animals until the existing ones are rehomed.

There are eight rabbits and three guinea pigs in need of homes, along with 11 long-stay rabbits with medical or behavioural issues which prevent them from moving on. Since an article appeared in the Herts Advertiser last year, Ruth has received lots of support from local residents which she is extremely thankful for, particularly a man who brings along food for her animals each week.

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But she is still in need of more help so that she can continue to help as many rabbits and guinea pigs as possible, whether it be in donations, rehoming an animal or bringing along unwanted feed, bedding and old newspapers.

She said: "Until some of the rabbits are rehomed there is no space for me to take any more in. It is quite scary how most days I get calls about taking in rabbits when a problem arises, but at least these owners are being responsible in finding a safe place for their rabbit and not just dumping them on a friend or in a lay-by.

"I have two here that were dumped on a friend and one who was abandoned in a lay-by - she is nearly blind so that made it doubly bad, but she now has a young sighted friend to keep her company."

In line with the Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund's 'Make Mine Chocolate' campaign, Ruth is also urging people to think carefully before buying a rabbit as an Easter gift. She said that all too often owners decided they couldn't keep the rabbit because of the vets costs needed to keep them healthy.

Admission to the fun evening on Saturday night is �3 on the door and families are asked to bring along their own drinks and nibbles.

Anyone who is interested in taking in a rabbit or the three guinea pigs in need of a home or in need of help and advice about caring for one, should contact Ruth on 01582 620288 or email her on ruth.oddie@ntlworld. com

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