The RSPCA is urging animal lovers to think carefully before buying a 'starter pet' for their children, revealing they rescued 165 of them across Cumbria last year.

Across England and Wales last year, the RSPCA rescued 4,081 rabbits and other small furries from cases of cruelty, neglect, and abandonment, with 165 of those from Cumbria.

Dr Jane Tyson, the RSPCA’s rabbit and rodent welfare expert, said: "Many people think the RSPCA only rescues and rehomes cats and dogs but this is not the case.

"We see thousands of small furries coming into our care every year and often this is as a result of owners being unable to cope with caring for these animals who they thought would be easy to look after.

"Small furries can make great pets but they are often very misunderstood."

In 2018, 61 incidents involving rabbits and other small furries were reported to the RSPCA in Cumbria.