By Amanda Amsel
Many parents may think that a four legged friend with floppy ears would make a great addition to their child’s Easter basket. However, a local animal shelter, along with a variety of rescue organizations are asking parents to think again.
On March 22, the Capital Area Humane Society partnered with the Columbus House Rabbit Society to host the event, Make Mine Chocolate.
“The purpose of the event was to educate residents about bunny rescue, adoption and education,” said Terri Cook, board president of the Columbus House Rabbit Society. “A lot of people impulsively buy rabbits around Easter and do not think about everything that goes into taking care of them. At this event, we wanted to let people know what they are getting into.”
According to Cook, rabbits are the third most surrendered pet to the animal shelters and rescue groups. People buy rabbits thinking they are cute and little, but do not think about the responsibilities of owning them long term.
“Rabbits are viewed as pocket pets,” Cook said. “However, in some cases this cannot be further from the truth. Depending on the rabbit, some can be bigger than a cat or small dog.”
Another common misconception is that rabbits should be kept in confined cages, when they actually should be around family members and other pets. They thrive with social interaction.
According to Cook, rabbits need mental stimulation and should live indoors. The Columbus House Rabbit Society recommends that rabbits live in a four-by-four pen that is three feet tall and is inside the home. They also recommend pet parents include a litter box in the pen, a box where they can hide and toys for them to play with.
“When people buy a rabbit, they also do not think about how long they can live,” Cook said. “Rabbits typically live eight to 12 years, so you could still have this rabbit after your kids are out of the house.”
However, the Columbus House Rabbit Society also stated that there are many benefits to owning a rabbit and in no way wants to discourage people from adopting one.
“If you do decide to move forward with adopting a rabbit we always recommend that you adopt from a reputable rescue group,” Cook said. “There are a variety of different rabbits out there and a rescue shelter will be able to identify which rabbit will fit with your family.”
For more information on rabbit adoption, contact the Capital Area Humane Society at 777-7387 or the Columbus House Rabbit Society at 470-0093.