The way society views rabbits seems to be shifting from livestock toward pets. Evidence of this can be seen in news from East Peoria, Illinois, where owning a pet rabbit has become legal. On Tuesday, June 19, 2012, Mayor Dave Mingus and the city’s council approved a change to an ordinance that had prohibited rabbits, cattle, sheep, foxes and ponies from being kept within the city limits.The change came about after Cindy Miller was charged with illegally keeping a pet rabbit in her back yard.
Here is what Scott Hilyard of the Journal Star reported:
“I think it’s awesome,” said Cindy Miller, whose son Isaac’s bunny, Fifi, was the impetus for the City Council’s decision to approve a rabbit-friendly amendment to the city’s ordinances Tuesday. “I made it happen. Little old me.”
Miller made it happen in a hurry. In late May, Miller was cited for being in violation of the city ordinance when a city employee saw Fifi in her hutch behind the Miller’s Sunnyland home while in the neighborhood on a different complaint.
On Tuesday, as Cindy and Isaac Miller sat in the audience, the council approved an amendment, Title 10-2-3.28, to the city ordinances that allows for the keeping of rabbits under certain conditions. No more than two rabbits may be kept as pets, they cannot be bred or slaughtered, they must be confined within an escape-resistant enclosure and be maintained in clean and sanitary conditions.
“It’s a timely topic. I was very impressed it was on the agenda and taken care of so quickly,” said Commissioner Chad Joos, who introduced the amendment. “It’s a sensible amendment in my view.”
The amendment passed 5-0.
The entire article may be seen online at http://www.pjstar.com/news/x345282794/East-Peoria-City-Council-spares-Fifi
Although it is gratifying to see that, at least in parts of the midwest U.S. rabbits are now being thought of as house pets instead of livestock, there is a part of the story that may be troublesome to some rabbit lovers. That is the fact that Fifi was given to Isaac by the boy’s grandmother when he was only three years old. According to the House Rabbit Society, rabbits do not generally make good pets for young children.