A 15-year-old girl from Edinburgh has been left heartbroken after her pet rabbit died in her arms, just two weeks after she bought it from a Gumtree ad. The Scottish SPCA have visited the breeder after the death of 10-week-old Clover was reported.
A tragic loss
Millie-May Tulloch had saved up her birthday money to buy a Lionhead rabbit from a breeder in Stirling. She fell in love with Clover, a fluffy white bunny, and brought her home on July 25. She cared for and loved Clover from the moment she held her.
However, on August 8, Millie-May woke up to find Clover lying on her back, with foamy blood coming out of her mouth. She rushed her to the vet with her mum, Denise McFarlane, but it was too late. Clover had passed away.
The vet was unsure of the cause of death, but suspected that Clover had a congenital defect or an infection. Millie-May was devastated by the loss of her furry friend.
A dubious breeder
Denise said that she had taken her daughter and son to a house in the middle of nowhere in Stirling, where they saw a rundown playpen with five rabbits. They chose Clover, who seemed healthy and lively.
However, Denise noticed that there were more rabbits in a smaller hutch, and about 15 rabbits in total. She said that the breeder did not ask any questions about their home or experience with rabbits, and did not provide any paperwork or vaccination records.
Denise said that she phoned the Scottish SPCA to report the breeder, and they visited the premises on August 9. They found that the rabbits were kept in poor conditions, with no access to water, food, or bedding. They also found that some of the rabbits had health issues, such as overgrown teeth and nails, and mites.
The Scottish SPCA seized 12 rabbits from the breeder, and issued them with an improvement notice. They said that they will monitor the situation and take further action if necessary.
A warning to others
Denise said that she wanted to share her story to warn others about buying pets from online ads. She said that she felt guilty for not doing more research on the breeder, and for not noticing any signs of illness in Clover.
She said that she hoped that Clover’s death would not be in vain, and that it would raise awareness of the dangers of buying pets from unscrupulous breeders. She urged people to adopt from reputable rescue centres, or to buy from registered breeders who care for their animals.
She also said that she wanted to thank the Scottish SPCA for their help and support, and for rescuing the other rabbits from the breeder. She said that she hoped that they would find loving homes soon.
Millie-May said that she missed Clover every day, and that she was the best pet she ever had. She said that she wanted to remember her as a happy and playful bunny, who brought joy to her life.