Dana Donnelly and Ohio Rabbit Rescue in Columbus have scored some great publicity in the form of an article in today’s Youngstown Vindicator newspaper. The report includes some background of how Ms. Donnelly got involved with rabbits as well as the kind of general information about house rabbits the public needs to know. Here are highlights of the story as reported by Linda M. Linonis:
Donnelly predicts the novelty of rabbits acquired as pets around Easter is wearing thin in some families. The bunnies will be abandoned or surrendered.
Donnelly’s experience with rabbits has been educational. She said one of the three rabbits bought at the Canfield Fair died soon after, and “we didn’t know why.” The death motivated her to research rabbits to better care for the surviving bunnies, Abby and Bella, Silver Martens. Another pet, Jack, a Netherland Dwarf, is a certified therapy rabbit that Donnelly takes to nursing homes.
“I found out rabbits are high maintenance, need vet care and the right diet,” Donnelly said.
She added that people who get rabbits and tire of them, put them in a small cage and just feed them are dooming them. “They’re social animals,” she said. Pet rabbits bond to other rabbits and become attached to attentive owners.
Some people, who don’t want a rabbit any longer, think turning it loose is OK. “Letting a domesticated rabbit loose is a misdemeanor … just like abandoning a cat or dog,” Donnelly said. Pet rabbits “don’t know how to scavenge for food.” Donnelly said these pet rabbits become “food for predators, hit by cars, starve to death or are killed by hunters.”
Pet rabbits surrendered to shelters don’t fare much better. “They’re the third most popular pet and the first to be euthanized at shelters. There just isn’t space.”
You can read the entire article online at http://www.vindy.com/news/2013/apr/11/rescue-abandoned-pet-rabbits/
Hoppington Post sends out kudos to Dana Donnelly and the Ohio House Rabbit Society for helping to get this kind of information out to the general public in their region. Education, we believe, is the key to promoting rabbits as house pets to the right kind of homes while at the same time preventing bunnies from being bought on impulse only to be discarded at a later date.
Photo by Madelyn P. Hastings