One of the biggest challenges within the house rabbit community is educating the public about the pros and cons of pet rabbits. Doing a good job of meeting that challenge is the Almost Home Humane Society of Lafayette, Indiana. Stacy Rogers, its outreach manager has scored some good local publicity for its “February is Adopt-a-Rescued Rabbit Month” campaign. Taya Flores interviewed shelter workers and her very informative article was just published by jconline.com. Here are some highlights:
The shelter charges an adoption fee of $25 per rabbit that covers the cost of spaying or neutering and a cardboard carrier to take the animal home.
Although people are familiar with rabbits, they might be unfamiliar with their care or what type of pet a rabbit makes.
Mary Lempert is a volunteer at Almost Home as well as its rabbit expert.
The first-year veterinary student at Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine has become a rabbit advocate, working as a licensed educator for the House Rabbit Society, an international nonprofit that rescues rabbits and promotes rabbit care education.
She’s also the creator of the website therabbitadvocate.com
“Rabbits are quiet animals,” Lempert said. “(They) spend the majority of the day sleeping, and can get along well with other pets, including cats and dogs.”
Here, she answers questions about caring for a pet rabbit:
Question: How do you take care of a domestic rabbit?
Answer: Rabbits eat varied diets consisting mostly of grass hays, vegetables and a limited amount of plain pellets.
They need to be housed indoors in a large dog cage, puppy playpen, or can even be allowed free-range of a carefully rabbit-proofed area of the house.
Rabbits are intelligent creatures and need stimulation in the form of toys and human interaction daily.
Exercise is important to their overall health, and so if a rabbit is kept confined, he or she should be allowed out of cage time for several hours a day.
Rabbits require regular grooming care in the form of nail clipping. Long-haired breeds require additional grooming.
While rabbits don’t require vaccinations, they should visit a veterinarian trained in exotic animals at least once a year for general health checkups. (Owners should also) develop a trusting relationship with a vet if a medical emergency were ever to arise.
The complete article may be read online at http://www.jconline.com/article/20130213/LIFE/302080048/Adopt-Rabbit-Month-encourages-animal-lovers-think-inside-pen
With Easter on the horizon, now is a very opportune time for rabbit rescue and advocacy organizations around the world to contact their local media and generate publicity for their groups and for pet rabbits in general. If you would like assistance in preparing press releases or letters to the editor, Hoppington Post recommends the resources provided by the Make Mine Chocolate campaign, available online at http://www.makeminechocolate.org/marketing.php
Photo by David-O.