Dogs and cats aren’t the only animals waiting in shelters. In fact, pet rabbits are the third most abandoned animal at shelters. They make wonderful pets, but far too often they are purchased on impulse at Easter, without the owners being truly prepared for a new pet in the family.
Animal rescue organizations across the country are bracing for their much-dreaded, annual Easter buying spree. This year, compounded by it being the Chinese Zodiac Year of the Rabbit, and of course, the popular new family movie, “Hop”, there is going to be an even larger upswing in impulse purchases.
“Sadly, rabbits are now the third most abandoned animal at shelters, and countless others are released to fend for themselves, but often become an unfortunate addition to a predator’s lunch,” said Debby Widolf of the national animal welfare organization, Best Friends Animal Society. She adds, “If you decide that a rabbit would be a welcome addition to your family, why not rescue a homeless bunny by adopting from a rabbit rescue or shelter?” asks Widolf. “But before adopting, it’s important to first learn all about these wonderful creatures and what they need to become a happy, well-adjusted family member. Most important, don’t make an impulse buy from a pet store or online.”
Best Friends Animal Society is working hard to help the cause and joined other rabbit rescue groups in 2010 for the first-ever, large-scale, trap-neuter-return (TNR) program for literally dozens of abandoned pet rabbits that had populated the campus of Long Beach City College. The program was able to spay and neuter all the campus rabbits in just 13 months time. Even better news was that 170 were adopted into homes. There are 70 that still are waiting for a home, while the other 75 were returned to live on the campus.
Widolf points out that rabbits can be wonderful companions, calling them “intelligent, interactive and curious little guys.”
But before adopting one, she asks families to consider these important points:
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