I adopted my first guinea pig Marty in October 2018, since then my mental health has done nothing but improve! I now have 11 guinea pigs and every single one of them helps me daily in their own special way. Guinea pigs aren’t just some things you see and a shop one day and buy to please yourself, guinea pigs are a part if your life for 6+ years. With a minor heart condition, I often find myself waking up in the night. I have the privilege of being able to get out any one of my 11 guinea pigs to cuddle and help calm down my heart rate regardless of the time of day. My mother works full time and my brother and sister also have business/work so sometimes i am home alone, before i had guinea pigs I would just sit in my room with the curtains drawn and only come out of my room if i really needed to. Now with my guinea pigs i find endless things to do with them during the day regardless of who’s in or out. They inspired me to start professional photography to capture their pure beauty and elegance. They have also made me realise how much i want to pursue a career involving animals. Additionally, guinea pigs are much cleaner than you would think, with the correct cage measurements, bedding and cleaning times, guinea pigs are very clean animals and can even be toilet trained. in 2005 my father had an accident leaving him partially sighted and unable to work and therefore ended up in social housing. He was given no choice in whether he was allowed pets in his flat or not since the landlords sadly don’t allow it.
Before Gizmo came into my life, I had just lost my childhood dog & 3 of my grandparents all within the space of 8 months; it wasn’t pleasant.
At the time, I was living in a shared accommodation but didn’t really “gel” with the others. They tended to ignore me. Not out of anything sinister, but because we all had different shift patterns and I don’t think I was particularly their cup of tea. It was a very quiet house.
I began to get very lonely and craved a pet but was still mourning my dog and we weren’t actually allowed pets within the accommodation.
Whilst processing what had just happened over the past few months, if I wasn’t around company I would begin to overthink and feel very isolated. This is when I began my research into getting a rabbit.
I had rabbits when I was very young and loved them to bits. On a whim, I googled bunnies for sale in Manchester & the first imagine that came up was of two rabbits, one of them was Gizmo. I messaged the lady. They litter was unplanned and they were available to pick up that weekend. I had never been so excited. I was becoming a bun mum again.
Having a rabbit has massively improved my mental health. Gizmo has been my rock through some tough times. I no longer felt alone. When I woke up in the morning, who was there? Gizmo. When I came home from work, who was there to greet me? Gizmo.
By having a responsibility to care for a little bunny, gave me something to look forward to. Not only that, but having a rabbit has made me much more tidy & accountable for properties than I would have done without a fluffy companion. 18+ months later, Gizmo has brought such joy to my life. If I ever have a bad day, he never fails to cheer me up or keep me company. He is such a character. I have now been able to introduce another little one Pancake his wifebun (3 months) into our lives and I have moved into a pet friendly accommodation with just me and my partner. I have honestly never been happier.
Everyone deserves a happy ending. Not just us humans, but rabbits too. There are so many rabbits waiting to be rescued from shelters and so many people in accommodation who would love a furry friend.
I would like to thank The Pancake Project for getting us on board and we look forward to helping in any way we can.
The relationship between pets and mental health is becoming very important. I’d like to introduce you to my two rabbits, Teddy and Theo. As a first time bunny owner, this was one of the best decisions I’d ever made.
I have always struggled with my self confidence and mental health and hitting low points in my life have been a struggle.
After meeting my partner and then renting a house together my sister got her first bunnies. Knowing what she had been through and seeing how happy they made her, I decided I wanted my own pet companionship. Obviously we lived in rented accommodation that didn’t allow pets. We were looking for our own house at the time so our plan was to wait until then. However, as they always say, pets walk into your life when you least expect it, I saw the advert for Teddy and Theo and they were perfect, I couldn’t let them go. So they came home with me in October 2019. Luckily my dad let me house them at his place until we had our house finalised. They certainly changed me for the better, they brought me so much joy and happiness, they are my world 🌎 and more.
Through UK lockdown they have given me a purpose, they have given me a reason to get out of bed everyday and not just stay in bed feeling sorry for myself. They have helped me socially and mentally and given me company when I’ve felt alone.
Rabbits are so underrated in my opinion, they are not “just a rabbit” they are my family. They are a part of me. Like cats and dogs, small animals like rabbits and guinea pigs still play an important role in emotional support. They are great companions and in particular helps prevent loneliness for single occupants. Therefore landlords should definitely consider allowing pets as there are many ways houses can be pet/bunny proofed to avoid damage to things like skirting boards or wallpaper.
I’d just like to thank the Pancake project for choosing me to take part and I look forward to helping in any way I can.
Summer of 2010: In a pet shop I discover a completely frightened little creature behind a glass pane. I was looking for two rabbits because I felt very lonely in my new apartment in a strange city. I grew up with animals and I missed the proximity of a furry friend. This little creature was actually not my first choice, but when I held it trembling on my arm I knew: It deserves a chance and has to get out of here. At that time I never thought that this creature, which looked like a small coconut flake at that time, would become the most important part of my life.
I had no experience with rabbits at that time, but you grow with your tasks. Both rabbits felt very comfortable in their new home and especially the little frightened creature started to unfold. Because of the strong and very individual character I baptized it on the name Annemarie. It simply suited her. Meanwhile 10 years have passed and Annemarie has become the centre of my life. My partner, my friends and family know that she will always be in first place and that is ok for everybody. Annemarie has been by my side for 10 years and has experienced the worst as well as the best moments of my life. She is not a rabbit that likes to be picked up, but she shows her closeness in a different way and is always there for me. Annemarie was there when I met my partner 10 years ago. He is her daddy, so to speak. Annemarie was there when I completed my apprenticeship and my two degrees. She has gone through several changes of town and each time her area grew as well. Meanwhile she owns half of the apartment and the decoration has been adapted to her.
Annemarie was at my side in my darkest moments, for example when I fell ill with depression in 2015 and saw no way out. She was always there. Even if she could not answer me verbally, I could tell her everything and I had the feeling that someone was listening to me. Even when my cat died after 18 years, Annemarie was there and also got through this crisis with me. Also when I had to let my cat, which I had saved from the street, go after 3 months and my heart was broken, Annemarie was there… Annemarie has survived relationship crises with my partner, Annemarie has survived my depressions. Even when my dad fell ill with cancer several times last year… Annemarie has dried my tears to this day. At the beginning of 2020 I could prove that our relationship is based on mutuality. Annemarie had several tumours in her abdomen and had to be operated at the age of 10. One of the worst times for me had begun, because my caregiver was ill and it could mean the end. I was there for her, cared for her and helped her to get well soon. We strengthened each other over 10 years. Annemarie has become like a child to me. She welcomes me when I come home, when she looks at me, tears come to my eyes because she delights me every day. We have completely adapted to each other and to our daily routine. Whoever says that rabbits are boring, I can only say: Just occupy yourself with them and try to understand them! Annemarie has the biggest meaning in my life. When I go on holiday, it breaks my heart to leave her behind for a short time. Mind you, Annemarie then also regularly goes on holiday on the farm and travels with so much luggage that one could think the Queen herself would travel. I try to make everything possible for her. Annemarie may move freely in the apartment and on the terrace, because she is a family member, not just a pet. I love her more than ever and I am afraid of the day when I have to let her go. 10 years is rare for a rabbit. I know she can’t get that old again and it breaks my heart. But until then I enjoy the time together with my princess and I wish all animal lovers that they may enjoy as much time and love with their animals as we do. I would like to take this opportunity to thank The Pancake Project for giving me the opportunity to make my story public and I hope to show many people that rabbits are wonderful and versatile animals.
I’m Nicole, I’m 19 years old and I have 5 bunnies, Gizmo, Oreo, Rocco, Willow and Milo. My Instagram is @Five_Binking_Bunnies.
When I was 17 I was in a very dark place. I had left college and i spent my time working at a racing yard. At first I enjoyed it, until I began to realise that I was being taken advantage off. They we’re paying me extremely bad money for the huge amount of work I was doing every day for them. I began to realise what working in racing entailed. The horses were treated like machines, they were abused, beaten, and poorly looked after if they made even the slightest mistake. I couldn’t cope with it anymore and I handed in my notice 2 weeks before Christmas. I had no job, hardly any money, and I was just at a loss with my life. I was so depressed.
I wanted to find another job working with horses but not in racing. However, because of were i live, they were none locally and therefore I couldn’t get to them as I didn’t have a car. I refused to work in hospitality. I’m not a people person really, I much prefer animals and i didn’t think I had the patience to work with people.
When I got the bunnies they gave me a reason, they gave me a purpose. I now had a reason to find a job, I had the motivation to carry on looking for a job. I had them now, they needed me. I was short of money and at this point I just needed to get anything, because of them, I handed in my CV at my local restaurant.
I’ve now worked there for over a year. Without the bunnies, I wouldn’t have ever applied to work there. From working there, I’ve made the most amazing friendships, and I’ve met the the most amazing man who I’ve now been with since the start of December 2019. I believe everything happens for a reason. I can honestly say I wouldn’t be where I am today without the bunnies. They bring me so much happiness, they give me a reason to carry on going, they motivate me. They saved me.
I have so much to thank them for, they’ve been there for me throughout everything. They’ve helped me so much. Whenever I feel down, I talk to them. I tell them how I’m feeling. They might not answer me but they listen, and I feel so much better afterwards.
Having pets is so important. They help us in so many different mays, that’s why it’s so important we have them in our households with us. However that’s sometimes not possible. They’re are so many ways we can pet proof our homes, dog proof, cat proof and bunny proof avoid damage to properties. Landlords should be more open to allowing pets instead of just pushing them aside.