Pets are Not Products - think 10+ years
In advance of the release of the movie “Peter Rabbit”, The Small Animal Rescue Society of BC (SARS BC) is urging consumers to refrain from impulsively buying rabbits as pets. “For dedicated guardians, having a pet rabbit is a rewarding experience,” says Lisa Hutcheon, president of SARS BC. “But too often, we see the other side of rabbit guardianship. They are dumped in parks and left to fend for themselves, soon falling victim to injury, disease, starvation and predators. For hundreds of these former pets, death is a slow, painful certainty.”
The release of films featuring cute animals typically results in a spike in pet sales, which, in turn, results in volunteer-run, non-profit rescues being inundated with requests to take unwanted animals once consumers discover how much work they are. This has been seen with the release of such films as Snow Dogs, Snow Buddies, Legally Blonde and 101 Dalmatians. This release poses an extra threat as it coincides with Easter, typically a terrible time for rabbits and rabbit rescues.
A cage is not enough! Rabbits are high maintenance pets that require specialized vet care and daily exercise. Their indoor enclosures and litter boxes need to be cleaned regularly. Their survival depends on being fed a specific diet and having their eating and elimination habits closely monitored. They are ground loving prey animals that do not appreciate to be cuddled and carried around. In addition, rabbits can live up to 10-12 years…..not the 1-2 years most people think.
Most rescue groups – which are typically volunteer run and dependent on private donations – are at their limits taking care of abandoned rabbits and victims of cruelty and neglect. The wait times for owner surrenders are long and you will most likely not be able to find immediate placement for your rabbit should you decide to give them up. Releasing your rabbit into the wild is NOT an option. It is illegal and will result in the rabbit’s death.
Please enjoy the Peter Rabbit movie and if you feel the urge to add a rabbit to your family, consider waiting until the hype is over, doing your research carefully and waiting to adopt one from a rescue if you decide it would be a good fit for your lifestyle. Rabbits are often a poor choice for children. Otherwise, a stuffed bunny is a great choice!
About Small Animal Rescue Society
The Small Animal Rescue Society of BC is a registered charitable society run by volunteers. Our primary focus is to rescue and rehome small animals in need. Neglected, injured and abandoned animals are our main priority. Small Animal Rescue works to provide a safe haven for small animals in need while promoting responsible pet guardianship through education, advocacy, and spay/neuter initiatives. www.smallanimalrescue.org