Letter: Think before giving live rabbits to kids
To the Editor:
In the weeks following Easter, after all the eggs have been collected, Easter baskets have been emptied, and chocolate rabbits have long since been eaten, thousands of real live bunnies flood into animal shelters across the country. What's up with that?
Amid all the springtime advertising linking Easter with baby bunnies and chicks, some well-meaning parents gift live animals to their excited children. When the Easter hype dies down, however, families are left to take care of animals they are woefully unprepared for. These animals, most often rabbits, are abandoned at shelters or left outside and expected to fend for themselves.
Although they make wonderful companions for those who care for them properly, rabbits are not low-maintenance pets and shouldn't be used as starter pets for children. Rabbits are social animals and require the same level of interaction and care that a dog or cat would. These delicate animals are often frightened when held by even the gentlest child.
Giving a pet as a gift is a decision that should be given a great deal of thought and is not suitable for children under age 8.
To find out if your household is a good match for a pet bunny, please check out House Rabbit Network at www.rabbitnetwork.org. If getting a rabbit is still a good idea, please adopt, since many shelters have wonderful spayed or neutered rabbits available!
If you have any questions, contact Green Mountain Animal Defenders at firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-861-3030.
The writer is a student intern with Green Mountain Animal Defenders.
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