Chubby bunny Bernadette was dangerously overweight when she was found abandoned in a Leeds garden.
The large Lop rabbit was so big that she was unable to clean herself and developed serious health problems.
But bouncy Bernadette is now fighting fit thanks to her new home at Camp Nibble.
The rescue and rehoming centre for small animals has seen almost 500 rabbits like Bernadette hop through its doors in the past few years.
Mum-of-two Hannah Potts, who runs Camp Nibble from her home in Alwoodley, said: “It is really apparent to us how big the crisis is with rabbits.
“We are absolutely inundated with them. We deal with small animals but we are always 95 per cent full of rabbits. It is really misunderstood as to how much work is needed to treat them properly.
“A lot of people buy them on impulse without a lot of thought going into it and they are easily available in pet shops.
“But the traditional way of keeping rabbits in a hutch really isn’t meeting their needs at all.”
Camp Nibble has now set up a petition to urge the Government to introduce a code of practice for the welfare of domestic rabbits.
To be considered for debate in the House of Commons, the petition needs 100,000 signatures in the next year.
Hannah, 33, added: “It’s about trying to educate people.
“We don’t believe this will change the situation overnight but it is about laying the foundations for improving things for rabbits.
“There is a code of practice for the welfare of dogs and cats but no guidelines in place for rabbits.”
Hannah used to own a business looking after pet rabbits while their owners were on holiday but after taking on a couple of rescue rabbits, decided to set up the rescue charity full-time.
Camp Nibble can take up to 50 rabbits at a time and has a network of volunteer foster owners.
To sign Camp Nibble’s petition to Government, go to: www.campnibble.com/petition.html
Hay is the most important part of a rabbit’s diet. It should make up 80 to 90 per cent of it and rabbits need unlimited access to fresh hay all day.
Rabbits need a minimum of three hours each day for them to run around and stretch their legs. In the wild, they can run up to three miles a day.
Rabbits have long, powerful hind legs that allow them to achieve speeds of up to 50 miles per hour for short bursts.
A rabbit’s top front teeth are called incisors and grow at a rate of 3mm a week.
Rabbits are most active at dawn and dusk.