Letter to the Editor
To the Editor:
Over the upcoming Easter period, many adults will be tempted to give a baby rabbit to a beloved child, godchild, grandchild, niece or nephew. In a few months, our local animal shelters will be, as they are every year, inundated by a flood of cast-off bunnies. Heartland Rabbit Rescue, which is the only rescue in Oklahoma dedicated to rabbits, asks that everyone who is considering buying a rabbit this year stop and think about three important facts:
First, although rabbits can make wonderful pets, they are naturally fragile and easily frightened. An active child who expects a cuddly pet can terrify or even injure a rabbit.
Second, a well-cared for rabbit should live as long as a dog or cat (10 years or more) and will require just as much attention and specialized veterinary (including spaying/neutering) care as a dog or cat would. No living animal is a prop to “teach” responsibility; they are a commitment and an obligation, one often way beyond the capabilities, capacities and resources of a child.
Third, just as there are countless dogs and cats without homes, so are there numerous rabbits who are languishing in shelters and rescues, often doomed to be killed unless adopted. Never buy a living being – if you wish to share your home with an animal, visit your local rescue organization and adopt in order to save a life.
If you want to make this Easter happy for a child (and for the Easter bunny, too) don’t give a live rabbit, give a stuffed or chocolate bunny instead and make a donation to one of the many excellent local animal rescues on their behalf.
Member, Board of Directors
Heartland Rabbit Rescue