The SPCA of Scotland has used the start of its annual Rabbit Awareness Week to issue a warning to parents about giving pet rabbits to their children. The reason for the warning is that the number of rabbits abandoned or given up by their owners has increased by 40% over the past five years.
Frank Urquhart reported on the story in The Scotsman. Here are some highlights:
An SSPCA spokeswoman said: “The Scottish SPCA is keen to encourage existing and would-be owners to consider taking on a rescue rabbit rather than buying a new bunny from a shop, with the number of abandoned, unwanted and neglected bunnies coming into its care steadily increasing over the last five years.”
Scottish SPCA Chief Superintendent Mike Flynn explained: “In 2012 we rescued a staggering 766 rabbits across Scotland, almost a 40 per cent increase on the 548 rabbits we cared for in 2008.
“This year is proving to be very challenging as well, with 390 rabbits already rescued, and this worrying trend demonstrates why we need to raise awareness of the hardships many pet rabbits face.”
He said: “There are lots of loving rabbit owners who treat their pets like one of the family and give them all the care and attention they need. But sadly this isn’t true in all cases.
“Some rabbits arrive in our care in a terrible state having been denied basic nutrition and veterinary attention, while others are sadly forgotten pets children have grown tired of.”
To see the complete article online, please visit http://www.scotsman.com/news/environment/sspca-warning-to-parents-over-pet-rabbits-1-3001537
It seems clear that the missing ingredient in this situation is education. What needs to happen is for potential rabbit owners to understand more fully what sort of a commitment owning a pet rabbit really is before they take one home. They need to understand why the House Rabbit Society says that rabbits do not make good pets for most young children. It is the hope of Hoppington Post that events such as the Rabbit Awareness Week of the SSPCA will help bring about the education that is needed to help ensure that any rabbits that are taken home will stay there in a happy and healthy situation for a long time.