Hello Faithful Readers - This is a post that is NOT about reading or book reviews. I don't know if that is a good thing or a bad thing in your view. So please let me know what you think of this one.
A friend asked me to share this and as a believer in her cause I thought - why not? So here goes. I'm sharing an article with you that has touched my heart. And in an attempt to touch yours too I'm sharing with you some photos of rescued former Easter Bunnies.
Easter Bunnies - Make Mine Chocolate
by Elizabeth A. Bly of Hardwick, MA
If you are thinking about bringing a pet bunny into your home this Easter, won't you please make it a chocolate one or a cuddly stuffed toy instead? Let's make it a Happy Easter for bunnies too.
This month Rabbit Rescues and Shelters prepare for the overload of surrendered and dumped Easter Bunnies that were gifts given without much thought. Rabbits are not low maintenance pets, they require as much work as a cat or dog. They live at least 8-10 years and require spay/neuter surgery at six months along with routine veterinary care (My last rabbit neuter cost $350.00). Rabbits that are not spayed or neutered will spray urine to mark their territory and the cancer rate is incredibly high for both sexes if left unaltered.
Rabbits are ground loving creatures and many dislike being held. They are not cuddly pets for children, they can squirm and scratch and if dropped could break bunnies back.
"Bunny Proofing" your house is a big job, if there is a wire bunny will get it! They chew clothing, papers, anything left on the ground, it requires effort to keep important papers, cell phone wires, etc. away from bunnies grasp/teeth!
Hay is a huge part of their diet and fresh hay must be supplied daily as it wears down their constantly growing teeth and aids in their digestion. Also they need many different fresh vegetables and fruits along with pellets and fresh water.
Living outside in a hutch is a horrible death sentence for the House Bunny. Thinking to next year, the bitter cold of winter can kill them. They are animals of prey; dogs, hawks, weasels and other wild animals breaking into their cage is a constant worry for the House Bunny. It's hard for bunny to watch the people who once loved and cared for them working or playing in the yard forgetting all about them in that hutch. They require a lot of love and attention, they are highly intelligent and should never be kept outside in a hutch. I compare my two House Bunnies to dogs. They follow me around the house, beg for treats, come when they are called, and cuddle at my feet in the evening for grooming and pets.
If your child insists on owning a bunny most shelters will welcome people who wish to sponsor a bunny. In exchange for your donation you will get photos and updates of your bunny. You can visit your bunny, bring him toys; it could be a great learning experience for your child. Finding shelters is easy through PetFinder.com or you can visit the website of the rescue I volunteer at; The House Rabbit Connection hopline.org serving Western MA and CT.
Please help spread the word this year! Easter Bunnies - Make Mine Chocolate!!!
Just a little more information from the House Rabbit Society (HRS) for those who really, REALLY want a bunny as a pet:
For families willing to make the long-term commitment , here are a few points to consider before acquiring a rabbit:
- Housing: Bunnies need a roomy indoor cage that is approximately four times the size of the adult rabbit. The cage should not have a wire bottom, as the wire can cause sores on the rabbit's feet. There should be room for a litterbox, toys, food and water bowls.
- Playtime: Rabbits need plenty of exercise and should be allowed at least 30 hours out-of-cage running time in a rabbit-proofed area of the home per week.
- Outdoors: Rabbits should never be left outdoors unsupervised. They can , literally, be frightened to death when approached by predators such as dogs, cats, raccoons and owls. They can also dig under fences to escape.
- Litter Box: Rabbits, once spayed or neutered, will readily use litterboxes that are place in one corner of the rabbit's cage; the rabbit's running space should contain at least one additional box. Use dust-free litter--not the clumping kind, and no softwood shavings.
- Diet: Bunnies need fresh water, unlimited fresh, grass hay, 1-2 cups of fresh vegetables, and a small serving (1/4 c per 5 lb. rabbit) of plain rabbit pellets each day.
- Health: Like dogs and cats, rabbits should be spayed or neutered. The risk of uterine cancer in unspayed female rabbits is alarmingly high., and unneutered males are likely to spray.
- Grooming: Rabbits shed their coat 3-4 times per year; use a flea comb and brush away excess fur.
A person who chooses a baby rabbit as a pet must:
- Have lots of time, a household that can withstand some chewing, and a stable residence.
- Expect an unneutered/unspayed baby will spray urine on the walls. Know that neutering/spaying (at four to six months) will stop the problem.
- Expect accidents when baby forgets the location of the litterbox.
- Allow the energetic young rabbit at least 30 hours a week of free time outside her cage.
- Know the cute baby will soon be an adult rabbit and may have a different personality.