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Some Bunny Needs You: February is Adopt a Rescued Rabbit Month

Some Bunny Needs You: February is Adopt a Rescued Rabbit Month

This February is the11th annualAdopt-a-Rescued-Rabbit Month, withlocal rabbit rescue groups hostingadoption showcases. Rabbits are the third-most commonly found animals at shelters, says California’s Rabbit Haven. With Easter falling at the end of March, it’s nearing the time when pet stores and backyard breeders are getting ready to tempt parents who think a cute little bunny would be just perfect to pop into a child’s Easter basket — and whenshelters are bracing for an influx of unwanted pets.

Thousands of baby rabbits are purchased “on impulse” at Easter, without their new owners having any idea of the amount of care that rabbits need. As the Bay Area-basedRabbit Haven makes very clear, a pet rabbit isnot a toy. People should not onlythink twice about buying a child his or her own Easter bunny. Theyprobably should just go and purchase a stuffed toy instead or some (fair trade) treats, or even sponsor a rabbit at a shelter (here are some with health issues who could use a little extra TLC, virtual as well as real).

Even more, many of the rabbits on sale before Easter have not been properly cared for and are sickly. Baby rabbits are often sold when they are only three weeks old. As rabbits are not weaned from their mothers until they are eight weeks old, the baby ones who show up in pet shops often have underdeveloped immune systems; some are not even able to eat on their own.

Shelters are overwhelmed by a deluge of unwanted post-Easter bunnies and, says Rabbit Haven, too often have to resort to euthanizing them. Some rabbits do not even make it to a shelter but are “simply dumped in the streets, left in parks or in other people’s yards and many of these poor rabbits come to the shelters with severe injuries.” These rabbits are not wild animals and are unable to care for themselves.

Rabbits are not “low maintenance” pets but needgentle and loving care, daily exercise, interaction with peopleand regular visits to the veterinarian. They can be trained to use a litter box and live for some ten years. Rabbits are “intelligent, interactive and curious little guys,”as a Care2 writer quotesDebby Widolf of the national animal welfare organization, Best Friends Animal Society.

In other words, there are plenty of reasons to adopt a rabbit (or rabbits, if you don’t want yours to get lonely when you’re not home as the House Rabbit Society of Richmond, California suggests). But do keep in mind that Easter is most definitely not one of them!

For a little inspiration, Rabbit Haven has agallery of success stories of rabbits (and some with special needs), many of whom have been successfully rescued and adopted.

 

Related Care2 Coverage:

Cute Animal Video of the Day: Bunny Accidentally Discovers He Loves Water

Earless Bunny Crushed to Death by Accident

Buy Chocolate Save An Easter Bunny

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68 comments

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3:43AM PDT on Apr 21, 2013

sorry,i missed this,thank you

3:33PM PDT on Mar 25, 2013

I had pet rabbits got the first one Lonesome from my grandfather, then had Zorro & casper later.

9:09AM PDT on Mar 24, 2013

thanks for sharing :)

5:51PM PST on Mar 5, 2013

I don't get how some people can love cats and eat rabbits, really - they are very alike.

There are lots of bunny rescues, so be sure to adopt yours from one of those, instead of buying an ill and unhappy creature from a pet shop.

4:52PM PST on Feb 28, 2013

Living in Qld, they're the "forbidden" creatures!

8:34AM PST on Feb 26, 2013

Thank you so much for this important article!

8:30AM PST on Feb 26, 2013

These rabbits cannot live outside. So many people think of them as the Cottontail Rabbits.

2:52PM PST on Feb 25, 2013

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7:48AM PST on Feb 25, 2013

I had bunnies as a kid..they were sold around Easter in a store front shop set up every yr. One side for the baby bunnies and the other for chicks and lil ducks.
Bunnies are great pets..and surprising smart.
Never would I buy ever again any animal....adoption is the ONLY responsible action.

7:47AM PST on Feb 25, 2013

I had bunnies as a kid..they were sold around Easter in a store front shop set up every yr. One side for the baby bunnies and the other for chicks and lil ducks.
Bunnies are great pets..and surprising smart.
Never would I buy ever again any animal....adoption is the ONLY responsible action.

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