Welcome to Bunny Burrows

Bunny Burrows is an independent animal welfare charity set up in 1996 by Gwen Butler and her late husband John to help rabbits, guinea pigs and other small animals. It is still run today from Gwen's home in Richmond, North Yorkshire. In 2018 Gwen was awarded the British Empire Medal for her services to animals. Bunny Burrows is currently home to several rabbits, guinea pigs, tortoises and an albino African pygmy hedgehog!

Over the years Gwen's knowledge of rabbit and guinea pigs health, welfare and behaviour has increased. She is more than happy to help and offer advice on health and welfare via email or over the phone; though please give her time to answer any enquiries.


Gwen receiving BEM
Gwen receiving her BEM


Bunny Burrows' aims to:

  • Educate people on the welfare and well being of these wonderful small animals.
  • Rescue unwanted rabbits and guinea pigs with the aim to re-home.
  • Work with the vets to help move treatment forward, which in-turn helps lengthen the lives of these wonderful creatures.
Three baby wild rabbits asleep under a log roll.


Animals need to have companionship of their own species as a result of this we will only re-home in pairs or to be a companion. We offer a bonding service where necessary. We will not re-home a companion animal if it does not get on with their potential mate. At the end of the day it is the animals happiness that comes first.

We never advertise or sell our animals.  However we do ask for a donation to help with the cost of running Bunny Burrows so we can help more animals in need.

All animals are health checked, vaccinated and neutered before being re-homed.

We never re-home any animal that requires ongoing medical care or have behavioural issues. These animals either remain at Bunny Burrows or are fostered out to experienced carers.

Rehabilitation and Hand Rearing

An armful of baby wild rabbits

We get a lot of wild rabbits that have been injured that need nursing back to health. We hand rear wild and domestic rabbits that have been orphaned. Healthy rehabilitated wild rabbits are released back into the wild at a secure location. However we do have a colony of wild rabbits who for various reasons have not been fit enough to be released. In the summer they have access to a purpose built run in the garden where they can demonstrate natural behaviours such as running, jumping and climbing.

End of Life Care

Like all rescues we have to think about how to handle the animals in their final days. Animals will only be put to sleep if their quality of life has deteriorated to the point that it is the only humane thing to do. It is always used as a last resort after our vet has exhausted all other options.

Zimba (an elderly rabbit) in our palliative care section


Bunny Burrows receives no government funding. We rely on donations from our supporters and all donations are received with thanks. Without the support of our supporters Bunny Burrows would not be where it is today.

If you want to help support the animals in our care, check out our fundraising section.

To clarify any confusion or misunderstanding…

‘Bunny Burrows’ is a small independent animal rescue; registered charity number 1090006. Bunny Burrows is run by Gwen Butler from her home in Whitefields Drive, Richmond, North Yorkshire and from no other location. Any other organisation of a similar sounding name or any individual claiming to be acting on behalf of Bunny Burrows, carrying out a similar function is not to be confused with ‘Bunny Burrows’ registered charity 109006.