SOME people say dogs are man's best friend, but one county woman believes that anything a dog can do, a rabbit can do better.

Karen Wren lives in Ross-on-Wye with her husband Jonathan and 12 rabbits, who all have the run of the garden and occasionally the house.

The 49-year-old takes one of the rabbits - which includes one Continental Giant and 11 French Lops - with her almost everywhere she goes, whether it be on walks down by the river or camping trips around the country.

"I have kept rabbits for 44 years, breeding them occasionally and sometimes putting some up for adoption when we have a large litter," she said.

"Because we have so many rabbits people may think we're a business, but we're not, we just love our pets.

"My love for them started when I was a young girl. They are so interactive and really have their own personalities.

"I take them out and about often with their harnesses. They go to the beach and on camping trips to Stonehenge and other places, they absolutely love it. But we can only take one at a time because they can be quite a handful."

Walter, a Continental Giant weighing 6.6 kilos, recently made his debut at Hereford Town Hall at a Got 2 Sing choir rehearsal.

Karen, who has been a choir member since January last year, said: "When we first went in to the hall we did receive some bemused looks. But after rehearsals people were coming over to us asking if they could cuddle Walter and he was picked up by between 10 and 20 people.

"Walter loves being the centre of attention and people like to see something a bit different."

Although rabbits aren't typically thought of as housepets, Karen insists they are as good to keep as cats and dogs.

She said: "I house-train them from a very young age and they are handled an hour after birth to get them used to human contact.

"They don't bite and aren't messy. We keep one in the house and the rest live in 10-foot long hutches within their own enclosure at the foot of the garden. They need a lot of exercise."