Yeah…rabbits are CUTE! But did you know they’re NOT cuddly? And they require a lot of WORK!
Every year around Easter, rabbit sales spike. And, every year, many of those rabbits are turned over to animal shelters as the new pet-parents learn how difficult and expensive rabbits are to properly care for. Worse, many of these rabbits are released, unable to fend for themselves in the wild and ultimately die.
What to consider before adopting a rabbit:
- Rabbits are not cuddly. They enjoy and need social contact, but generally do not like to be picked up or cuddled. Their spines are not flexible like a cat so improper handling can cause serious injuries. They sometimes bite.
- Rabbits are expensive. It can require hundreds of dollars a year between food, bedding, veterinary care, and cleaning/grooming supplies.
- Rabbits can be destructive. If not potty-trained, they will have accidents around the house. They like to chew, sometimes on furniture.
- Rabbits require specialized care. They should be brushed often, need daily exercise similar to a dog, and should be fed grass, hay, and leafy vegetables. They should be kept indoors and are not easily litterbox-trained. Like dogs and cats, rabbits need to be vaccinated.
- Rabbits live a long time, usually a decade or more. Like other pets, the older they get, the more medical issues they have.
- Rabbits should be sterilized, which can be dangerous. Unsterilized rabbits (not spayed or neutered) can exhibit anti-social behaviors and contribute to overpopulation. But Rabbits, do not react well to anesthesia, making the process life-threatening.
Rabbits are not as time consuming as dogs, but they are more work than cats. Hillsborough County Pet Resources, Pasco County Animal Control and The Humane Society of Tampa Bay have already begun campaigns educating residents about the costs and responsibilities of rabbit ownership. In many cases, a better option for a child who wants a pet is to adopt a dog or cat from a local shelter. Residents who have researched rabbits and still want one are urged to adopt, don’t shop.
EASTER EGGSTRAVAGANZA: Want to Celebrate Easter without buying a rabbit? Come to the Easter Eggstravaganza at The Humane Society of Tampa Bay on April 9th. The Easter Bunny will be in attendance with egg-hunts for both kids and dogs, games, food and more. All requested donations will benefit homeless animals in need. The Easter Eggstravaganza is Saturday, April 9th from 11am-2pm at the Humane Society of Tampa Bay Shelter, 3607 N. Armenia Ave. in Tampa.