House bunnies can’t survive in wilderness
More and more frequently I am hearing about domestic rabbits spotted at and around Beavertail. Anyone who knows me knows I am an animal welfare fanatic, and also I worked taking care of more than 85 domestic bunnies for a while. I suppose this is why people keep telling me – maybe they think I will know what to do.
My brother-in-law texted me a picture today of a beautiful little white fluffy angora bunny at Beavertail. He tried to catch it to no avail. He overheard someone say they knew of someone who dropped off 11 bunnies at the park.
For anyone who doesn’t know, domestic rabbits are not the same species as wild rabbits. They are not supposed to be wild. When you let them go outdoors, they may have a few fun days, but you are releasing them to certain death – possibly a horrible one. If the guilty party truly did not know this was wrong, then please forgive me. But this is an irresponsible, cruel and ignorant act. I’m not sure if the ASPCA would issue a fine. I believe it warrants one.
If you have a bunny you do not want, bring them to the Potter League where they will have a chance at finding a good home. If you are too lazy to take the ride to the shelter, e-mail me at se firstname.lastname@example.org. I will pick them up and do it for you.
While we’re on the subject of bunnies, there are a couple of things I’d like to mention with regard to rabbit care. The tradition of keeping rabbits in a hutch in the yard is an outdated one. It stems from the practice of keeping rabbits for meat. As far as it being an appropriate way to keep a beloved pet, it’s not. A bunny in a cage outside is about as comfortable as the family cat would be in a small cage outside. House rabbits are supposed to be in the house.
Healthy adult rabbits should eat Timothy pellets, not the poor quality stuff from Walmart. You can purchase a 20-poung bag of highquality organic pellets for around $15. That will last for months.
If you have any other questions about caring for house rabbits, there is a wealth of information online from one of the many societies for house rabbits.
One last thing: please don’t put your 8-year-old in charge of taking care of a bunny.
Editor’s note: The bunnies are available for adoption at the North Kingstown Animal Shelter.