With Easter just recently past, and a tradition of gift giving around this time of year, the BC SPCA urges the public to not buy bunnies as Easter gifts.
Craig Naherniak, general manager of humane education for the BC SPCA, says it may come as a surprise that rabbits and children are not a great match.
“Rabbits are great companions for adults, but are not appropriate pets for small children despite the pervasive media images of children with rabbits,” he says. “They don’t like to be picked up, as they are prey animals and picking them up distresses them. Like any pet, they require proper care and can live up to 12 years.”
Each year SPCA branches across the province receive hundreds of abandoned bunnies after the holiday has passed and the excitement of a new pet has worn off and the reality of pet care sets in. “The animals who are turned in at SPCA shelters are the lucky ones,” says Naherniak. “Many others are abandoned to the wild to fend for themselves. “These domesticated rabbits often fall prey to predators such as coyotes, are susceptible to disease, or end up starving.”
Alternatively, he says, if there are no predators the rabbits may flourish and upset the balance of nature by multiplying into a serious overpopulation problem.
For more information on rabbit care, visit www.spca.bc.ca/pet-care/care-behaviour/rabbits/.