It's that time of year again, when cute wittle bunny wabbits start popping up everywhere… sadly that includes pet shops. Now, I'm not going to flat out tell you not to buy a bunny rabbit, on the contrary bunnies can be lovely companions, but I am going to advice you on a few things to do it Right.
Rabbits require much more care and attention than most people suspect. Rabbits are like any other pet, they require work, attention, time, and your love and affection. The problem is most people think they can buy these little critters shove them in a little cage, feed them, and that's the end of it. People mistake rabbits as an easy pet. And since most pet stores aren't going to tell you otherwise, thousands of impulsive buyers go home with their new little bunnies as cute "easter" gifts for their children without having a clue what they're getting themselves into.
Instead of impulsively buying, you should stop and think about this before committing to it. Ask yourself if you and your family are ready for a new family member, if you have the time for one, and if it's a good fit.
If you are on thinking about adding a rabbit to your family for Easter, here are some things to consider…
"Easter" bunnies usually end up being neglected, abandoned, sold, or left for adoption. Rabbits Are high-maintenance pets, and once people realize this (unfortunately After they've already bought one) then what happens to our little bunny friends? They join the other unwanted pets in animal shelters, or worse. The commitment to one is no smaller than that of bringing a puppy or kitten into your life. Rabbits live for around 10 years, or longer, so they aren't a short term pet and shouldn't be viewed as a disposable item. Pets are not disposable, but they are marketed as such by pet stores. They are living, breathing, heart-beating loveable creatures that want your love and attention. And you should make sure you have the time and energy for one. Any pet is a commitment, and rabbits are no exception. They are forever animals. You don't just have a child and then give it away after a couple years if you don't have the time for it anymore or have to move or change your mind, or anything like that now do you? Animals are family members. Period.
Bunnies make wonderful additions to a family that is ready for that kind of 10-year commitment. They are quirky, rambunctious, and absolutely loveable… but they Are work and you can't neglect them. (here is an amazing guide on how to care for your rabbit)
Never buy from Breeders or Pet Stores!
As with puppy and cat mills (that I wrote about here), rabbits are inbred, mistreated, abused, and sold to hasty buyers. I won't go through all the horrible details, you can check out the link to my previous post if you're interested in that. But most of these rabbits don't stay with one family, because pet stores promote this kind of impulse buying. And when there are hundreds of little bunnies already waiting for new homes in shelters, why on earth would you support a greedy breeder or shop that supports animal cruelty and treating animals like material objects instead of living creatures?
Instead, if you decide that you are indeed ready for a new bunny family member, then adopt one instead from your local animal shelter or rescue group. They are bursting with unwanted bunnies that have been bought in that hasty easter rush, and are in desperate need of new homes. So best to wait a little bit after Easter. Bring your kids to the shelter and give them the joy of picking out your new family member with you. Get your new bunny spayed or neutered as well--there are already enough bunnies in need of homes, so don't take that chance away from a shelter rabbit by letting your new friend have a fresh litter of bunnies.
(You can start by looking up your zip code on Petfinder.com for shelters to adopt from.)
Don't impulsively buy. Ask if you're truly ready for another high-need animal companion. And if you are then adopt.
Make this Easter a happy one for your kids and the bunnies!
If you'd like to read more here is another informative and eye-opening article from Care2: http://www.care2.com/causes/easter-is-no-treat-for-pet-bunnies.html
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