Love Some Bunny
by Lee Chambers
With Easter coming soon, thoughts often turn to adopting a fuzzy and friendly bunny. However, did you know that – after cats and dogs – rabbits are the third most frequently surrendered animal to shelters?
To make any adoption successful, it’s important to know as much as possible about the pet you’re considering. Rabbits can live to be over 10 years old, which is a longer lifespan than most other small, caged animals have. Their cages should be at least four feet long with a solid bottom (a wire-bottomed cage will ulcerate their feet) that’s lined with blankets or towels. Since many rabbits use litter boxes, be sure to clean the box daily, and the cage once or twice a week.
Each day they need time to play outside of their cage to stretch their legs and “binky” with excitement. This unique move involves the rabbit jumping into the air and twisting her head and body in opposite directions before falling back to the ground. A “half-binky” involves the head twisting sideways and back. Either way, a bunny doing a binky is a very happy one. This time outside the cage is critical to keeping them happy and well-exercised, and should be conducted with supervision in a small room that’s been bunny-proofed (hide or remove cords, cables or wires because they’re notorious chewers. Houseplants, too).
Despite all those cartoons that showed rabbits munching carrots, they primarily eat hay, and lots of it. Small amounts of vegetables, fruits, or greens should be given a couple of times a week. Just like cats and dogs, they also have distinct personalities and tend to be quite sassy. That’s what most rabbit enthusiasts love about them, along with their ability to groom themselves, be litter trained, and learn new tricks.
Here at Dakin, the public is able to spend quality time with the rabbits before deciding if they’d like to adopt. All of our cages have pens attached so the rabbits have more space to play, but still have a safe place to retreat for a nap. Staff and volunteers regularly handle and play with the rabbits to socialize them.
As part of Dakin’s services, all rabbits on our adoption floor are spayed or neutered before they go home. Our Community Spay/Neuter Clinic also offers this surgery for pet rabbits (between the ages of 4 months and 4 years). Just call (413) 781-4019 to book spay/neuter surgery for your pet rabbit.
If you’re thinking of adding a bunny to your household, take a moment to see who’s looking for a home here at Dakin. Our available pets are here. We’d love to find you some bunny!