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Outspread Misunderstanding about Pet Rabbits has Made Them One of the Most Abandoned Pets in the United States

Outspread Misunderstanding about Pet Rabbits has Made Them One of the Most Abandoned Pets in the United States

Outspread Misunderstanding about Pet Rabbits has Made Them One of the Most Abandoned Pets in the United States

After cats and dogs, rabbits are the third most popular pet according to the Humane Society of America—and the third most abandoned. Most Americans have a sense of how long, cats and dogs live, the kind of care they need, their behaviors. But rabbits? I asked several of my colleagues how long they think domestic rabbits live. “One to two years?” “Maybe three?” In fact, with proper care, rabbits live 10 to 12 years. People’s understanding of them seems to be out of step with their ubiquity.

Most of the people think rabbits are short-lived, needs low maintenance, cage-bound animals. They're seen as “starter pets,” akin to hamsters or goldfish. This misconception may help drive a surplus of baby bunny sales ahead of Easter ( which means “the season of the growing sun” or  “the season of new birth.” )—and a consequent rise in rabbit abandonments.

Hola, here’s the reality: rabbits are not easy-care pets. Vets and insurance companies consider them exotic pets, so medical care can be more expensive than for a cat or dog. Rabbits need a lot of exercises and shouldn’t simply be stifled in a cage. They’re also prey animals, and we’re, well, carnivore. They generally don’t like to be picked up by humans; they prefer to be in control, their feet on the ground.


“It takes a patient person to become friends with these silent and subtle animals,” says Margo DeMello, president of the House Rabbit Society.


Image: rabbit.org



Rabbits’ are often purchased on a whim. Cute and cuddly, once baby bunnies mature, at between three and six months old, they can become aggressive and also destructive. But many new owners assume that the undesirable behaviors are the sign of a problem rabbit and get rid of it. People often met with shock and frustration and says: “What do you mean I have to spend $300 to fix a $30 rabbit?”


Moreover, In some cities, like Las Vegas, Washington, public parks and empty lots have become dumping grounds for hundreds of unwanted rabbits.People abandon many rabbits outdoors, likely unaware that this is a death sentence. Domestic rabbits lack the survival instincts of their wild cousins and are unable to fight infection, build safe shelters, or adapt to heat and cold. As I believe, this mindset is problematic. “Kids, actually, want something more obviously attentive and are often frustrated when rabbits don’t respond to them the way they expect.”  To unnerve people from buying rabbits as Easter gifts is a challenging thing. But for those who understand how to care for them, they make fantastic pets.

I know: I have one ‘rescue rabbit’ of my own, was found abandoned in a small cage in a park, He’s curious, fearless, and loving. He brings happiness every day.



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