Pets at Home is set to stop selling rabbits at its Coleraine store this Easter.
The move comes as the retailer aims to highlight the number of unwanted rabbits that are left homeless each year.
Each year, customer interest in rabbits increases at Easter. To make sure families are fully aware of the specific needs of rabbits, Pets at Home is holding free small furry workshops at its Coleraine store over the Easter holidays.
My Pet Pals Easter activity club will be held throughout the holidays where fun, interactive activities will educate the next generation of pet owners on how to care for small furry animals, including rabbits, responsibly.
The store team will be on hand to share their knowledge, quizzing the children on pet care and the welfare needs of small furries - shelter, food and water, good health, appropriate company and the right living environment.
The workshops will help families to make an informed decision about the long term commitment and responsibilities that come with pet ownership.
Rabbits are the third most popular choice of pet for British children* and owning a rabbit has proven benefits for them. In a study by Pets at Home 72% of parents agreed that owning a pet has helped with their child’s anxiety. In fact, rabbit owners in particular (60%) said that their child had become more responsible and 57% of parents also said they had seen an improvement in their children’s learning difficulties since getting a rabbit. Overall, one in five parents had seen an improvement in a child’s behaviour.
Debbie Mc Donald, store manager at Pets at Home Coleraine, said: “We pride ourselves on putting pets before profit, so we’ve decided not to sell rabbits over the Easter weekend to reduce the number of healthy rabbits left homeless as a result of an impulse purchase.
“Young pet lovers in Coleraine can attend our fun workshops to get an insight into the level of care needed to ensure these types of pets live happy, healthy lives. They also give parents a fun activity to entertain their children during the holidays.”
After completing the workshops, each child will receive a certificate and sticker, and a pet promise card where they make a pledge to look after any pet they have according to the five welfare needs, covering habitat, health, wellbeing, diet and behaviour. Each child will also get the chance to enter the stores colouring competition.
Pets at Home Coleraine will stop selling rabbits from 9am on Good Friday, 25 March until close of business on Monday 28 March.
To find out when My Pet Pals Activity Club will be happening and to book your place, visit the petsathome.com/workshops. Simply search using your postcode and click on the workshop you would like to attend. Alternatively you can also contact your store team for more information.