Thinking of a bunny for Easter? Wake SPCA offers advice
Posted April 3, 2015
Raleigh, N.C. — Animal advocates in the Triangle are trying to educate the public about giving bunnies as Easter gifts to children.
The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Wake County and the Triangle Rabbit Society say that while rabbits are popular gifts to mark the spring holiday, they often become too large or too much of a burden after families lose interest. Many owners end up releasing the bunnies or turning them over to shelters.
“Though bunnies can make wonderful pets, the SPCA and the Triangle Rabbit Society hopes that educational efforts will assure that the only bunnies adopted this spring go to permanent homes,” Wake SPCA marketing manager Darci VanderSlik said.
VanderSlik offered the following tips to consider before getting a bunny:
- Do not buy a bunny. Adoption is a better option. All bunnies at the SPCA and Triangle Rabbit Society are spayed or neutered and litter-box trained.
- Bunnies take time. These are not low maintenance starter pets. They require just as much attention as a cat or dog and need four to eight hours of out-of-cage play a day.
- Bunnies have a long life span. They are indoor family pets that often require the owner to make a 10-year commitment.
- Bunnies need to live inside. They are social creatures who enjoy being surrounded by their family, though too busy of a household can cause them stress. They also require a living space that gives them room to hop around even when confined.
- Domestic bunnies are not equipped to survive in the wild. Domesticated bunnies will not survive if abandoned. House bunnies are not used to predators, are susceptible to disease and won't find enough food or safe foods to eat. Domestic rabbits are non-native to the United States. They are bred from a European species, not from native species found in North Carolina.
- Bunnies do not like to be picked up. Though most enjoy being petted, they become scared when lifted off the ground. Their backs are delicate and can break if they are picked up the wrong way.
- Bunnies need a variety of food. The most important component of their diet is grass hay. They should also be fed leafy green vegetables and a limited amount of rabbit pellets.