Rabbit starved to death by couple

A COUPLE have been ordered to pay hundreds of pounds after letting a rabbit starve to death.

Laurence Cawley

A COUPLE have been ordered to pay hundreds of pounds after letting a rabbit starve to death.

Aaron Free and Zoe Hockett, both 22 and of Robin Close in Haverhill, admitted causing unnecessary suffering to the rabbit when they appeared before magistrates in Bury St Edmunds yesterday.

They were told to pay �265 in costs.

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Free was also fined �200 and Hockett was given a 12-month conditional discharge.

During the hearing, it emerged Darwin, a large white rabbit, was found dead in his hutch in the garden of Robin Close in June last year.

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There was no food in his bowl, no bedding and his water bottle was dry.

Upon examination, a vet found that the rabbit was extremely underweight with hardly any fat on his body. The vet concluded that Darwin had suffered from starvation and dehydration before dying.

Although she was the rabbit's owner, Hockett did not live at the address where he was found. Free said that he had been away for more than two weeks and had left only enough food for four days for the rabbit.

RSPCA inspector Chris Nice said: “This was an extremely serious case and I can only hope that the sentence will prevent further animals from suffering the same awful, painful and lingering death as this rabbit.

“There are organisations who will help if someone feels they cannot look after an animal, so to leave them to starve is inexcusable.

“Rabbits are one of the most neglected animals and this case shows just what terrible lives they can have if they are not cared for.”

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