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Off-duty officer finds and helps rabbit whilst jogging

February 12, 2020
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Police and the RSPCA are appealing for witnesses after a pet rabbit was callously thrown out when fly tippers dumped household waste on land near Newark.

The white lop-eared rabbit was discovered by off duty police Inspector Marcus Oldroyd while out jogging. Now the force is calling for the public to help track the owner down to take action. Insp Oldroyd, from Operation Reacher, went for a morning jog on Monday (10 February 2020) around the area of Brackenhurst Close to Southwell when he came across the rabbit, which he found shivering next to a pet carrier. It was surrounded by dozens of black bags of rubbish and old mattresses which were littering the side of the road, clearly dumped illegally by fly-tippers.           

He said: "It was clearly a pet and had been callously thrown out as part of a fly-tipping episode.      

"It was cowering and shivering amongst the bags of rubbish including a damaged pet carrier and an old mattresses, which had been fly-tipped. The poor little thing must have been terrified, especially in the recent weather conditions. To me, it was obvious it had been discarded as part of the fly-tipping."          

The local Inspector linked with the RSPCA, who collected the animal from Force Headquarters in Arnold.    Inspector Oldroyd added: "The RSPCA said to me that clearly the rabbit had been neglected and was well under-nourished."     

Inspector Heather Sutton, District Commander for Newark and Sherwood, said: "I was sickened to hear what happened and we all know it's clearly not acceptable to treat an animal in this way. We will be following up with the RSPCA on the condition and potential new home as the rabbit deserves much better than what it had before.           

"We'd like to find out who this rabbit belonged to and take action against them. If you can help please call 101 with any information, quoting incident 457 of 11 February 2020."       

An RSPCA spokesperson said: “We believe that someone took on this rabbit and then decided they couldn’t cope with looking after him so just discarded them in such a callous way along with rubbish at the side of a road.          

“It was very lucky the rabbit was found by the off-duty police officer or he could have suffered a lingering death.       

“We are now appealing for anyone who knows who the rabbit belongs to or who saw anything suspicious in the area to get in touch.”            

The rabbit is in the care of a vet where he is receiving treatment. He is underweight and has some issues with his teeth. He also has fur missing on his legs which suggests he has been kept in a dirty environment and has been laying in his own urine for long periods of time.   

To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care please visit their website or call their donation line on 0300 123 8181.  

Councillor Roger Jackson, Chairman of Newark and Sherwood District Council’s Leisure and Environment Committee, said: “Fly-tippers clearly have no regard for the environment but to stoop so low as to dump a live pet rabbit shows complete contempt for life.       

"As a council, through our Not in Newark and Sherwood campaign,  we are determined to rid the district of the  problem of fly-tipping and will push for the maximum punishments for those who think they can just discard of their rubbish wherever they like. 

"Make no mistake, fly-tipping is a crime and our officers are actively enforcing the law to bring offenders to account for their actions.”

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101 is the number to call when you need to contact Nottinghamshire Police and it’s less urgent than a 999 call. Calls cost 15p, no matter how long the call lasts.