Camp Nibble is a registered Rabbit and Rodent Rescue Charity based in Leeds, West Yorkshire. The rescue centre aims to provide shelter and care to neglected, abused and abandoned small animals. And rehome the animals to a safe loving home. Also Camp Nibble has started the petition to improve UK’s pet rabbits welfare. The centre is run at the owner’s home with love and care, that truly shows dedication. We are very excited to get to interview people that would stand up for the animals and dedicate their lives for animal welfare.
Here is our interview with Camp Nibble:
1. Why did you start Camp Nibble and what is the charity’s aim?
Our charity was founded in 2009. Prior to becoming a rescue charity we ran a small animal holiday boarding business from home. This is where the name ‘Camp Nibble’ originated. It was during the course of running the boarding business that we became aware of so many rescue animals in need of somewhere safe to stay. Even as solely an animal boarding business we would be contacted regularly by people wanting to give us unwanted animals.
We intended to help by rescuing/re-homing one animal at a time alongside running the business. However, once our eyes were opened to how many animals were in need we felt compelled to use our facilities solely to help rescue cases. We ceased providing any pet services and became entirely a charity in 2009. Since then we have rescued/re-homed around 200 small animals each year on an entirely voluntary basis.
Our aims as a charity are to provide a safe haven for abandoned and neglected small animals. We then aim to find these animals loving forever homes after any necessary veterinary care and rehabilitation. Any animals unsuitable for re-homing are given permanent sanctuary here at Camp Nibble. We also educate the public on the proper welfare needs of small animals.
2. Can you tell us a bit more about yourselves?
Camp Nibble is run by my husband Stephen and I (Hannah) on an entirely voluntary basis from our own home in Leeds. We are obviously animal lovers, and have a passion for animal welfare in particular. We run the charity around caring for our two sons Edward and James who are eighteen months and nearly three years old, and looking after our own wonderful animal family members. Our own pets are our four dogs Stuart, Wendy, Martha and Duncan, our African Grey parrot Siegfried, and our turtles Jason and Bridgett.
3. Can you explain how the Camp Nibble petition will help rabbits and other small animals?
Most of our rescue rabbits one way or another have ended up at Camp Nibble due to people taking on rabbits with little realisation of what is needed for them to live happy, healthy lives. They are widely misunderstood animals and are very often mistakenly taken on as cheap, easy pets. In many cases the responsibility for their care is even left in the hands of children.
Welfare organisations now understand well what rabbits need for their welfare to be best met. However, there is still a huge gap between the reality of their needs and what most owners are currently providing. Rabbits are sensitive, intelligent creatures with complex needs. The tradition of obtaining rabbits as pets for children and keeping them cooped up for long periods in small hutches alone does not meet their welfare needs at all. It is a sad fact that a majority of pet rabbits are subject to mental and physical suffering due to their owners in some way failing to meet their welfare needs.
In 2006 the UK introduced a new Animal Welfare Act. Owners now have a duty of care to provide for all animal’s needs, including the need:
•For a suitable environment (place to live)
•For a suitable diet
•To exhibit normal behaviour patterns
•To be housed with, or apart from, other animals (if applicable)
•To be protected from pain, injury, suffering and disease
To cover all animals, the needs are expressed in a very general way – just what is a suitable diet? Obviously, the answer for a cat is very different for a rabbit.
In order to explain in detail how to put the law into practice the welfare act explained that the government would issue ‘Codes of Practice’ documents. Codes of practice have been introduced for some animals (including dogs and cats). However, sadly a code of practice for rabbits has still not yet been implemented in England.
A rabbit code of practice will outline what is needed for rabbits to be correctly cared for and what is needed to comply with the Animal Welfare Act 2006. The codes of practice will also help the courts decide when an animal welfare offence has been committed.
On a typical day my husband Stephen will begin his ‘rounds’ at around 8am. It takes him around 2.5 hours each morning to clean and feed all of the rescue animals. Often we also have an early morning vet run where Stephen will take in any animals needing veterinary care, most often this is for neutering operations. He then has a vet trip later in the day to collect the animals post op, and take other animals in for their vaccinations/checkups.
Typically we have various people visiting for charity appointments each day between 10am and 6pm. I take care of all of these. These are usually potential new owners coming to meet animals, or visiting for advice. Or people surrendering their own unwanted pets, or bringing rescue animals that they have found abandoned to us.
We are also very careful to make sure that we make time to meet any additional needs of the rescue animals each day which include medications, grooming, socialisation, bonding and much more.
In amongst the appointments and caring for the animals I spend a lot of time each day answering emails/ phone calls from members of the public seeking help and advice regarding a huge variety of animal related issues, maintaining our website and active twitter/Facebook pages, and generating the funds that we need to stay open. Where possible I also try and squeeze in any time possible to work on spreading our rabbit welfare campaign messages and promoting our government e-petition.
The only time our day differs significantly is when we have a rabbit awareness or fundraising event planned. On these days we keep the diary free of appointments and Stephen holds the fought whilst I attend the event.
Randy and Bianca
5. How can people get involved and help?
We have lots of fun and simple suggestions of ways in which people can get involved and help on the ‘How can you help’ page of website: http://www.campnibble.com/help.html A great way to keep up with our news and work is to follow us on Facebook/Twitter.
6. We know that you help re-home the rescued animals as well. What is the process and how can people come and adopt them?
Our rescue animals looking for new homes are all featured on our website campnibble.com. The first stage of our adoption process is for potential new owners to fill in our online adoption enquiry form. We can then get in touch with them and make sure that they are able to provide for the welfare needs of the animals that they hope to adopt, and provide a loving forever home.
7. What are the future plans for Camp Nibble?
For now we hope to continue rescuing and re-homing as many small animals in need as possible for the foreseeable future. We do not have any current significant plans for expansion. We feel that our charity is running very effectively and to a very high standard by staying a manageable size.
We plan to maintain a keen interest in campaigning for improved rabbit welfare in the UK. Our plan is to work together with other welfare organisations to ensure that the public is re-educated in how to properly meet the needs of their pet rabbits.