Each year around Easter, purchases of rabbit’s skyrocket. After dogs and cats, rabbits are the third most popular pet in the United States. However, while parents adopt or buy these rabbits for their children, the amount of care and longevity of the animal’s life aren’t taken into consideration. This is especially true for baby bunnies. While they may be ridiculously cute and fluffy, they do require much needed care and attention to live a happy and fulfilled life. Below are some reasons to adopt a rescue rabbit opposed to a kit:
Although litter training a rabbit isn’t too hard for the most part, it could save you a lot of frustration by adopting a rabbit that is already litterbox trained. For example, my first rabbit was about 3 months old when I rescued her from an unexpected litter. It was super frustrating the amount of bedding I went through while trying to get her to use a litterbox instead of going all over her cage. It also took a while to get her into a routine of which litter she had to use for digging and bedding, and which litter was meant for her to do her business. Since Toots, I’ve adopted 3 young adult rabbits from the humane society, already litter trained, and have never had an issue with incontinence. Just like with a puppy, it takes a lot of time and work to potty-train these little critters.
When adopting an older/shelter rabbit, 9/10 times they have already been spayed or neutered. Female rabbits can reproduce as soon as 12 weeks of age, so it’s important to have both males and females fixed ASAP. Other behavioral concerns can arise with unfixed rabbits. Male rabbits will mark with urine and show aggressive sexual behaviors towards other pets in the household if left unneutered. It’s also harder to bond male rabbits with other male rabbits if one or both are left unneutered. This is the same for female rabbits. Female rabbits have other medical concerns if not spayed, such as ovarian, uterine, and mammarian cancers. Costs of spays and neuters can also be another concern when purchasing a baby rabbit. While you would think that since rabbits are small that the cost would be minimal, costs can range from $100-$300.
Rabbits are the third most surrendered domestic pet in the United States, and majority of rabbits in shelters are due to surrender of ownership. Most times that they are surrendered, it’s not because of behavioral issues but because of lack of attention and inability to care for them. Most shelters often don’t have the space and means to care for these fragile creatures. They require fresh food, hay, quiet space, and a space to call their own. If you think of a typical animal shelter, you can imagine stressed and barking dogs and a constant flow of people and animals. This is not an ideal home for rabbits, these sensitive animals can come down with fatal illnesses such as GI Stasis due to this extreme stress.
There are many rabbits out there that desperately need a forever home to call their own. Please check your local Humane Society or https://www.petfinder.com to see if there are any adoptable rabbits in your area.
Keep calm and hop on!
Central Vermont Humane Society: https://centralvermonthumane.org/adopt-a-critter/