April 18th, 2014 by Anita Carswell
Every year, thousands of frightened rabbits are produced by breeders, torn from their families, then sold around Easter, as irresponsible “gifts” for children, and every year, most of these poor victims of human thoughtlessness are dumped at animal shelters, where they are killed. In fact, nine out of ten rabbits never make it to the age of even one year old. Rabbits who are spared the misfortune of being dumped at shelters are faced with futures often equally as bad. Rabbit purchasers (and breeders with unsold by Easter “stock”) often dump domestic rabbits in parks and fields when they get bored of them, where they are killed by dogs, hawks, or other animals, or they are hit by cars trying to cross the street. Since their natural food is not manicured lawns, often rabbits “turned loose” just starve or succumb to the elements.
Rabbits are quiet and extremely sensitive by nature and are especially unsuited to loud and boisterous groups of people, so generally are not suitable companions for groups of children. While parents may eventually figure this out, it is the rabbits who pay the price, by being ignored in a pen in the back yard, being “freed” or “given away” (killed at shelter).
Please be a responsible guardian, and if you would like to adopt a pair of rabbits (they are social animals and need friendship of their own species), wait until after Easter, when all the rabbit rescue groups are overflowing with discarded Easter “toys” and when rabbits have the least chance of making it out alive from a shelter. Rabbits live a long time and are generally about the same level of responsibility as caring for cats, but they need special vets, and they are happiest inside in a bunny-proofed house.
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