Here are some links to start your research on rabbit care and behavior.
CHECK THESE OUT!
- "Easter Bunny" Video
Short, quick and to the point. A great little video!
- The Interactive Bun
An incredible resource. Wonderful for parents and children to learn together what it takes to care for a rabbit.
- Children and Rabbits
- Living with a House Rabbit
- The First Two Weeks
- Litter Training
- House Rabbits 101
- Vet Care
Rabbits can make wonderful companion pets for the right household.
However, contrary to Easter-time hype, rabbits and small children aren't a good match.
The majority of rabbits we are asked to take in were either purchased at Easter as a pet for a child under 10, or were purchased as a pet for an older child who is now going away to college.
Sadly, we are unable to help with these requests as there are too many abandoned rabbits looking for homes and not enough space in our foster homes.
Therefore, we focus our rescue efforts on rabbits at shelters whose time has run out. So, we are trying to get the word out before all those cute little bunnies appear in pet stores this Easter.
Our goal is simply this: Help to educate about what it is really like to live with a rabbit BEFORE a rabbit comes home.
We want to answer your questions about how much time, effort, and money a rabbit takes, and what is realistic to expect when interacting with a rabbit. (Most are surprised to learn that rabbits don't like to be held and prefer for you to get on the floor with them to interact!)
If you are considering bringing home a rabbit we hope you'll find a few minutes to research if one will fit into your household. We've listed a few facts here and lots of web links at the top of this page to help you out.
Still unsure if a rabbit is right for your household? Have questions we haven't covered? Please email us info@alabamaEARS.org.
Some Quick Facts About Rabbits
* Rabbits are not "low-maintenance" pets and are as much work as a dog.
* Rabbits live 8 to 10 years.
* Rabbits eat lots of hay. Hay is the primary source of a rabbit's diet. If anyone in your household has allergies, please get tested before bringing a rabbit in to your house.
* Rabbits purchased from pet stores are usually very young and will need to be spayed and neutered when they reach maturity. The cost of spay or neuter varies but can be as much as $250. It is essential to spay or neuter, even if you only have one rabbit, or your rabbit will mark your house with feces and urine, dig up your carpet and eat your baseboards. Altering your rabbit will also help with behavior issues you will experience once your rabbit becomes a "teenager" and make litter box training easier.
*Your home must be bunny-proofed, or Thumper will chew cords and furniture.
* Baby BUNNIES in pet stores are often very young and docile. Because they are so young they give the impression that they are easy to hold, handle, cuddle and pet. Couple that with the absolute adorable-ness of a tiny ball of fur and it's hard to resist taking one home. The problem with this is that every baby BUNNY grows into a RABBIT and it is the RABBIT who lives 8 to 10 years and a RABBIT has his own ideas about being held (see below).
* Children often like a companion they can hold and cuddle and most rabbits are not suited for such attention. Rabbits love to stay on the ground and often feel frightened and insecure when held and restrained. They might kick, bite or scratch to get away which can result in injury to both the rabbit and the holder.
* Caring for a rabbit does not teach responsibility. We frequently receive inquiries about how to make a child interested in caring for their rabbit. Once a child tires of the chore of taking care of the rabbit, the burden falls on the already too busy parents. From our email, we've learned that it can become an unfortunate (almost daily) argument between child and parent. In the end, the rabbit ends up being resented by everyone and everyone looses while the parents try to find a new home for the rabbit.
In cases where rabbits and children DO work, parents did their homework before bringing home a rabbit, and often involved the child in the process.hey discussed what is realistic to expect from a rabbit (rabbits do not warm up to people the same way dogs do and are most active at dawn and dusk), and if the child/ family is actually looking for a rabbit or a "dog in a rabbit's coat." We have a great website called The Interactive Bun just for this purpose. The feedback we've gotten on this website has been wonderful!
* Rabbits belong indoors as they are a member of a family. If you are looking for a backyard pet, please don't select a rabbit. Rabbits need lots of attention, care and companionship and, according to our email, quickly become a chore when kept in the backyard. Rabbits are also subject to predators and environmental factors in the back yard--even those with "secure" hutches at risk from insects, heat and cold.
Please Note: Alabama EARS does NOT adopt out rabbits during the Easter or Christmas holidays. However, we do continue to accept applications, conduct placement interviews, do home visits and educate adoption candidates about bunnies during these holiday times.
All rabbits need time to adjust to new sounds, smells and the new people in the household under normal circumstances and the chaos surrounding a holiday make it harder for a rabbit to adapt to their new household (and for the humans to adapt to the new rabbit!)