How many of us had bunny rabbits as children resulting from the Easter Bunny itch? And how many of us really knew anything about them as pets? And how many of us ended up turning them over, in frustration, to a shelter? I know I’m guilty as charged.
Since I started working in the animal welfare field over six years ago, I have found a new appreciation for these special animals. While the dogs and cats at animal shelters usually receive the bulk of public attention, there is always a population of rabbits for adoption. Visitors at our shelter are instantly drawn to the friendly, long-eared creatures just inside our main entrance.
Rabbits are increasingly popular as pets because they are gentle animals that don’t make noise and can be fairly easy additions to the family. They are ideal apartment pets because they can be litter-box trained and kept in a cage when their people are not home.
“Most shelter visitors believe that they will only find dogs and cats during their visit, but we routinely have a variety of small animals including hamsters, guinea pigs, gerbils, and, of course, rabbits,” explained Vanessa Porter, Adoption Manager at Nevada Humane Society. “Rabbits make great pets – they have individual personalities and are both affectionate and fun.”
Rabbits make wonderful companion animals because they:
- Are quiet pets.
- Can learn to use the litter box.
- Are fun to watch and can be affectionate.
- Have different personalities just as individual dogs and cats do.
- Don’t need a yard if given plenty of indoor, sun-lit exercise space.
Usually, people who are interested in adopting rabbits as pets come into the shelter seeking one bunny. In the wild, rabbits live in communities and although they have been domesticated for centuries, their desire to be with other rabbits is quite strong. So it is good to consider adopting a pair of rabbits instead of just one.
Nevada Humane Society often has a wide assortment of rabbit breeds to choose from including Angoras, Dwarfs, Lop-Eared, Dutch, and Albino rabbits. Colors can include white, black and white, and brown, ranging in size from small to large. All the rabbits are spayed and neutered so you do not have to worry about more bunnies arriving.
Bunnies enjoy and need to chew, so providing safe chew toys is critical for a happy pet. Routine care with a veterinarian who is knowledgeable about rabbits is also important. You can find great information on rabbit care on the House Rabbit Society website at http://www.rabbit.org.
So when you and your family would like to add a furry member to the mix, consider adopting an adorable bunny rabbit – a pet who will satisfy your itch to have a cute, quiet companion and who will appreciate a new forever home as much as any dog or cat.