Rabbits at the Auckland SPCA's Mangere branch are being matched up and adopted out in pairs.

The branch is at capacity with 30 rabbits and wants to find new homes for 18 of them.

And with fewer available cages than rabbits, some have paired up.

SPCA animal attendant Justine Somerville says she fancies herself "a bit of a matchmaker" with the rabbits.


"Some are already together when they come in, but some are lonely, so we bond them based on their personalities. I just kind of think 'Oh, those two would be good together'."

SPCA Auckland chief executive Christine Kalin said the association was encouraging people to keep couples together when they adopt.

"We've matched up ones that have needed company, so it would break our hearts to see them parted."

Miss Somerville said there wasn't much difference between keeping one rabbit or two.

"One more rabbit doesn't take up too much space once you've got a hutch. So, for all the time that rabbit has a friend, has someone to clean and snuggle up to, it's definitely beneficial."

She said the shelter usually reached capacity in winter, "possibly because bunnies are seen as more of an outdoor animal".

But she said that was not the case, and even people living in apartments were encouraged to adopt rabbits.

"They can definitely live indoors. They're clean and easy to toilet-train, so they're an ideal apartment pet.

"They have really quirky personalities. They nudge you, they sit next to you, they rattle their toys and push their bowls when they want to be fed."