I ran across this short little article today:
The Sad Truth About Rabbit Overpopulation
by Amy Shapiro
The House Rabbit Society exists because rabbits are being dumped at shelters every day of the year. Right now, as you read this, healthy rabbits are being killed at animal shelters simply because there are more wonderful rabbits than there are rabbit-people.
What can we do to stop the killing? Adopt from a shelter.
Do not allow your rabbit to have even one litter. Even if you find good homes for those babies, those are good homes that the shelter rabbits won’t get. And what if each of those babies is allowed to have one litter? Will you take responsibility for each of them finding a good home? I can guarantee thatwithin one or two generations a rabbit from that “just one litter” will end up dead at a shelter.
Talk to others about this problem. Many people are unaware of how many rabbits are being surrendered and euthanized at shelters-and compared to the ones who are dumped in fields, those at shelters are the lucky ones. Lucky to have a lethal overdose of sodium pentothal injected by a caring person!
What have we come to when that’s the best we can offer these guys? To purchase from a breeder or pet store is to write a death warrant for a shelter rabbit.
It’s as simple as that.
It made me very sad. My parents adopted me (I’ll tell you about it some other time) and Betsy, but I wonder how many of my litter-mates ended up in a shelter – or worse, let go into the wild. It gets very cold here in New England – I know. I can feel it through the drafty window in the livingroom. Betsy has told me all about what it’s like outside – the rain, the foxes, the snow… I would feel very, very sorry for any rabbit left out in that weather, especially if they had previously been living in a nice warm house. I mean, I’ll be the first to admit it – I’m domesticated. I don’t know what I’d do if I had to live on my own, without my well-trained parents here to bring me dinner. And the thought of ending up in a shelter… oh it just makes my fur stand on end!
So please, make sure you don’t encourage people to buy rabbits – or any pet, really – from a pet store or a breeder. Adopt instead – it is the responsible, mature thing to do. (My dad says “and spay and neuter your rabbits as well!”)
Okay everyone? Please? I’m going to go spend a moment of silence snuggled up with Betsy now, for all the rabbits left alone tonight. *sniff*