Sunday, March 20, 2005

Cute Bunnies = Lots of Responsibility

This is for Lucky and George.

Bunnies are NOT good Easter presents! I noticed that Petland had an ad in today’s paper touting cute little bunnies. It’s just this kind of mentality that leads to hundreds of unwanted pets in the months to come.

For those of you who are thinking about giving a cute, cuddly bunny to your kiddo (or know someone who is) for an Easter gift don’t do it. A rabbit’s lifespan, if taken care of properly, can reach six to eight years. Sadly, that’s longer than most marriages in America last. Many people don’t understand that bunnies are social and litter-box trainable (which they practically demand). Think of taking in this rabbit the same way you would a cat or dog, they can roam around (in chosen areas of the house) to play and interact with their humans. The mentality of confining him to a hutch outdoors imprisons him a life of loneliness not to mention being exposed to the elements (heat in the South and cold in the North).

Finally, consider the following:
VET BILLS: they are considered “exotics” and like a “luxury car” will rack up bills quickly since they require care by specialists who deal with exotics; I know, I know…what’s so exotic about something that I can catch running through my backyard? But really, I swear, that’s how they are categorized
COST OF UPKEEP: no, they can’t use regular cat litter or pine shavings for health reasons…the expensive Yesterday’s News is the best bet plus the never ending amount of fresh veggies they require; and
DAY-TO-DAY CARE: not only the daily feedings and care, weekly cage cleanings, and occasional nail trimmings, but when you go out of town you must have someone to watch them; some vets will “kennel” a rabbit, but the noise and unfamiliarity is very traumatic to them.

Both of my bunnies have been rescues that people did not want. George was my first rabbit and started his life out as an Easter gift. We saved him from being set free by some school kids in Houston back in April 1997…just a few weeks after Easter. Buy the kid a stuffed rabbit or a Beta fish (if you feel compelled to give them the responsibility of a pet). Someday, if you are interested in a rabbit as a pet, please look into the House Rabbit Society as a resource to give your bunny the best life possible.

That’s my PSA on rabbits as Easter Gifts…over and out.