Dozens of rabbits abandoned in Eastbrookend Country Park

PUBLISHED: 11:03 06 August 2018 | UPDATED: 11:04 06 August 2018

Some of the rescued rabbits, which have since been given a new home and health checks.

Some of the rescued rabbits, which have since been given a new home and health checks.


Dozens of rabbits have been abandoned in Eastbrookend Country Park.

On the evening of Sunday, July 29, a dog walker discovered around two dozen rabbits on the 230 footpath in Upper Rainham Road towards Dagenham.

He contacted Scruffy’s Angels, a lost and found group which covers Dagenham and Romford.

“There was a report at 9.40pm from a gentleman walking his dog,” said Tina Chadwick, a volunteer from the group.

“Later on, there was another report of more rabbits down the lane towards the Eastminster School of Riding.

“The walker managed to secure about five, then he went back and caught another.”

Twelve Scruffy’s volunteers went to both locations to search. On Monday they returned with 30 helpers, including volunteers from Pets at Home in Romford, but didn’t find any rabbits.

They also heard reports that Sunday’s rescues were showing signs of myxomatosis, a human-bred disease introduced in the sixties to control the wild rabbit population.

“It’s the most vile disease,” Tina said.

“They get bulging eyes, bulging genitals and pus comes from their mouth.”

Domestic rabbits should be vaccinated against myxomatosis once a year. Tina believes these were Netherland Dwarf rabbits, which would have been bred on purpose.

“I think these rabbits were bred, for what reason I don’t know, and I don’t believe they were vaccinated,” she said.

“A lady who took some of the rabbits went to the vet, who told her they’d not been neutered either.”

Tina, who’s been volunteering at Scruffy’s since 2016, said she’s never been involved in such a large-scale rescue mission for rabbits.

“We’ve had lost and found rabbits but nothing like this,” she said.

“We have it more often with cats – people abandon them because they don’t neuter or spay them and they end up pregnant.”

If anyone finds a rabbit, they should take them to the vet immediately. Tina said they won’t survive in the wild.

“The wild rabbit population will fight to the death,” she warned.

“They’ll either be hunted by predators or they will succumb to myxomatosis.”

Vets have checked the rescued rabbits, and despite earlier fears, none have been found to have myxomatosis, although there is an incubation period of up to two weeks.

Latest Barking and Dagenham Stories


Coasters could have been several goals up before Daggers drew level


Harry Redknapp is currently taking part in the latest series of I’m A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here!


Barking assistant manager Andre Thomas was pleased to get back to winning ways as his side sealed a 2-1 win against Soham Town Rangers.


May & Baker captain Richard Oxby says the whole team was pleased to seal their progress into the quarter-finals of the First Division Knockout Cup with a comfortable 6-1 victory against Lopes Tavares.

A rogue landlord has been fined more than £30,000 after converting a family home in Barking into flats.


Gale Street side won 27-12 away from home on Saturday

Detectives investigating the fatal stabbing of 22-year-old Ayodeji Habeeb Azeez have arrested a fifth person.

Students and staff at Barking’s Technical Skills Academy raised nearly £1,000 for Children in Need.


Are you aged over 25 and an unpaid carer? If you want to return to employment but need practical help and support to get there, Working for Carers can help.

Everest Estates stress-free service guarantees a fixed income for your East London or Essex property every month, even if no one is currently living there. Here they talk about the scheme and explain how it can help you dodge common letting headaches.

Barking and Dagenham is home to Better Extreme, London’s largest indoor skatepark. Whatever your discipline, be it skateboarding, inline, BMX or scootering, there’s a challenge waiting for you.

Newsletter Sign Up

Barking and Dagenham Post twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Education Promo

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Barking and Dagenham Post
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now