April 15, 2024
A bunny beforehand rescued by the San Diego Humane Society is given a check-up by the middle’s vet. Courtesy photograph

 With Easter a bit of over every week away, animal rescue teams in Southern California are urging folks to not purchase rabbits as vacation presents for youngsters.

They are saying that what begins as a well-meaning gesture typically results in deserted animals when the novelty wears off and households understand they’re not geared up to correctly look after the pets.

“Yearly, shelters report an inflow of rabbits who had been purchased for Easter after which discarded as soon as their cuteness or novelty wore off,” PETA’s Catie Cryar advised Metropolis Information Service. “A few of them are purchased to place in youngsters’s Easter baskets, whereas others are bought by household photographers for use as props for Easter pictures. Rabbits are reportedly the third mostly surrendered animals to our nation’s shelters, and it’s estimated that about 80% of them purchased for Easter will die or be deserted inside the first yr, so it is a life-and-death concern.

The animal rights group is working a public service announcement on some radio stations and spreading the message on X and different social media accounts that “rabbits are somebody, not one thing,” Cryar added. “We additionally prefer to remind everybody that including an animal to the household ought to include a lifelong dedication to them. If somebody is really ready to offer a rabbit with a lifetime of specialised care, the reply is to undertake — not store.”

The Rancho Coastal Humane Society in Encinitas says their shelter and others nationwide come throughout stray bunnies who had been deserted by households that adopted them for Easter. RCHS spokesman John Van Zante advised Fox5 San Diego that many households additionally purchase pet chicks this time of yr.

“A chick that’s half fluff and half feathers isn’t very enticing,” he advised the station. “After which it begins performing like a hen. It turns into a pecking, pooping machine with only one function — to change into an grownup hen or rooster. Should you don’t need an grownup hen residing in your own home or yard, don’t get a child chick.”

As a substitute of a reside animal, rescue teams advocate shopping for a stuffed toy bunny or chocolate sweet rabbit for youths’ Easter baskets.

Nina Thompson, director of public relations for the San Diego Humane Society, advised CNS that the SDHS “doesn’t have information to assist that there’s an inflow of rabbits coming in after Easter.”

Nonetheless, “as a result of every pet adoption is predicated on an in depth session with an adoptions counselor to make sure it’s a good match for each the animal and the particular person, we’d not warning adopting a rabbit as a result of time of yr.”

“Our employees at San Diego Humane Society will help of us all for adopting a rabbit to study all they should know to have a cheerful, harmonious relationship with their new furry buddy. A part of that dialogue is how lengthy an animal is predicted to reside, correct diet and housing, and the dedication it takes to make sure they reside a wholesome and glad life,” Thompson added.

Extra info will be discovered at sdhumane.org/about-us/news- heart/tales/rabbit-care.html.

Retail gross sales of rabbits, canine and cats are prohibited in California, however direct gross sales are nonetheless permitted, together with on-line, and unlawful road gross sales additionally happen by which child bunnies are typically deceptively marketed as grownup “dwarfs.”

Rabbits will not be low-maintenance pets. They require a particular food regimen, cleansing and humane indoor housing in a bunny-proofed room, and veterinary care will be costly, advocates notice.

They’re additionally not best pets for young children, as they reply finest to quiet power and will be simply spooked by the hyperactivity of a kid.

Animal advocates supplied a sequence of fundamental suggestions:

— Home rabbits ought to be stored indoors always.

— Rabbits must be spayed or neutered as quickly as they’re sufficiently old (between 4 and 6 months) to keep away from pointless breeding and to assist their well being.

— As soon as they’ve been spayed or neutered, bunnies ought to be paired with a mate who’s additionally been spayed or neutered for lifelong companionship. Single bunnies will be lonely and depressed.

— They need to be fed a food regimen of limitless timothy hay (or alfalfa hay for rabbits below 6 months), plus a every day portion of leafy greens and restricted pellets.

— They need to by no means be stored in cages, as they want room to hop round and train their legs.

— They must be completely groomed each two to a few months to take away extra fur and have their nails trimmed.

— They’re aggressive chewers, and must be evaded electrical cords and something that may be harmful if ingested, corresponding to taped or glued containers.

— Bunnies who cease consuming or look like in ache can die inside 36 hours, and want fast care from a veterinarian educated in rabbit care.

Those that are ready to make the 8- to 12-year dedication to caring for a number of bunnies are inspired to think about adopting from a San Diego County shelter or native rescue group.

Extra info is on the market right here.

— Metropolis Information Service