Nibbles is a small independent rescue and rehoming organisation catering specifically for domestic rabbits and rodents, with our main centre and HQ located on the Pembrokeshire boarder, 6 miles outside Cardigan. Nibbles is entirely run by a minuscule number of volunteers and we have no paid staff or casual volunteers. This means as a general rule we are always very busy trying to manage both the rescue and what little remains of our personal lives. Like all rescues we receive no government funding and totally rely on donations and fund raising to keep the centre open and available to the animals who need our help.
The vast majority of the animals in our care are housed at HQ which is nestled away on a small holding belonging to Siobhan and Shirley. Rachel also has a small number of rabbits in her care at any one time and is located near Pembrey.
We believe that rabbits and rodents should entitled to the same standards in rescue as those commonly afforded to dogs and cats. It is for this reason we homecheck on all home offers regardless of species and have a detailed adoption application. The animals in our care, although smaller than their dog and cat counterparts, have already been let down by humans and a large part of our work is to ensure this will not happen again. We also have minimum housing standards for all the species adopted from us and these fall in line with the recommendations from leading animal welfare organisations. Once again these are in place to protect the welfare of the animals and ensure new owners are able to meet the needs of that animal. All the rabbits which come into our care are neutered and vaccinated prior to making them available for adoption; sadly it is not often a rabbit is surrendered to us already neutered and up to date with vaccines. This costs the rescue between £95-£115 per rabbit depending of weight and sex.
Rodents and rabbits don’t engender the same passion when compared to dogs and cats, regardless of the thousands bred, bought and sold all across the UK every year. Viewed as easily obtained, cheap to keep and requiring minimal commitment from owners, helps to contribute to the idea they are just as easy to dispose of when the children grow bored of their care. With over 67,000 rabbits (The Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund) passing through rescues every year, and the uncounted thousands which are given away on internet trading sites is a stark indicator of just how many rabbits are purchased with minimal consideration with regard to their long term care and welfare. Here at Nibbles we believe these delightful little creatures deserve better and our main focus is on providing every animal which comes through our doors with their own fairy-tale ending of ‘happily ever after’.
How we started
The need for Nibbles became all too clear in December '14 when Siobhan was asked to assist in coordinating the rescue of, what turned out to be, over 120 rabbits. Having been involved in rescue for over 15 years Siobhan was shocked at just how different this case was from many others she had been involved with. This was not a hoarding case and all the rabbits were cherished and cared for, but sadly when the owners needed help, through no fault of their own, no one was there to help them. It took 10 months before the family found a rescue who would even listen to them, let alone help and that rescue was Greenacres Animal Rescue. This is where Siobhan was asked to step in and help, not only the rabbits, but also the family who had reached crisis point many many months before. Had Nibbles been around a few months earlier, we could have stepped in and provided help and this whole crisis would have been avoided. At first Siobhan believed that once she had helped both the rabbits and the family, things would return to 'normal', but no sooner had we begun to get this first crisis under control we had the call alerting us to another group of mixed sex rabbits needing help. It was at this point Siobhan realised that West Wales was in urgent need to a specialist rescue catering for rodents and rabbits and with help and support from Greenacres, Nibbles was born at the end of January '15. Not long after Rachel joined Team Nibbles and now we have a team of 3 who keep the rescue ticking over. Nibbles became a registered charity in August '16.
We would like to thank everyone who has helped & supported Nibbles on behalf of all the animals (past, present, and future) - without your continued support we simply could not do it!
Since opening Nibbles has come a long way from a couple of spare chicken coops and in August '15 Nibbles receives a grant from Lush Charity Pot allowing us to carry out much needed work on the centre. To find out more about what we had done watch our mini documentary.
Meet Team Nibbles
Siobhan runs Nibbles HQ as well as caring for her own pets which include 7 dogs, 5 cats, 2 ponies, a variety of poultry, a number of rodents & rabbits and even some reptiles.
Siobhan has a BSc in Animal Behaviour from Exeter University and has been an avid animal lover since a child.
Shirley - Treasurer
Shirley would like to say she is the long suffering mother to Siobhan. But in truth she is just as soft hearted - pictured with Titan a rescue dog, who was, under no circumstances, going to be adopted!
Rachel - Adoption Coordinator
Rachel became a member of Team Nibbles after she adopted a rabbit from the centre. She has a number of bunnies and she also helps with fostering and runs our sponsor a hutch program. Rachel is dedicated to helping all animals and always goes out of her way to help.