In preparation for the Easter holiday, many parents will consider getting a pet rabbit as a present for their children. Rabbits do NOT make good pets for young children. Rabbits are easily stressed by excessive handling, and children therefore quickly lose interest in an animal that doesn’t like to be picked up and carried about. Stuffed toys however, enjoy this kind of attention.
Many pet stores add to impulse buying by selling rabbits at Easter time. It is unfortunate that they are more concerned with sales than with the welfare of the rabbits.
Rabbits can live 8-10 years, and require regular cleaning and exercise. In addition, rabbits grow up quickly, and during adolescence they can be temperamental. Sadly, shortly after Easter, animal shelters receive large numbers of rabbits since people are not prepared to spend the time required to properly look after them. Other rabbits are left to linger outside in a small hutch, with little human contact. Although it is a criminal offence to abandon an animal, many pet rabbits are simply “set free” when their human family tires of them. This is cruel and irresponsible. Most rabbits who are “dumped off” do not survive. Is this the kind of message we want to teach children - that pets are disposable when they become an inconvenience?
Rabbits are cute, but they’re not a pet for everyone.
Angela MillerLr. Sackville
By Angela Miller