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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEContact:
Margo DeMello, President (NM)
Mary Cotter, Vice-President (NY)
RABBIT RESCUE ORGANIZATION WARNS PARENTS: A REAL, LIVE RABBIT IS A REAL, LONG COMMITMENT
RICHMOND, CA (March 22, 2012) -- House Rabbit Society (HRS) strongly urges parents not to buy their children live "Easter bunnies" unless they are willing to make a 10-year commitment to properly care for the animals. Each year, thousands of baby rabbits, chicks, and ducks are purchased as Easter gifts only to be abandoned or left at shelters in the days, weeks and months that follow Easter.
Margo DeMello, president of HRS, encourages rabbit lovers to support the "Make Mine Chocolate" campaign created by the Columbus, Ohio, chapter of HRS. "Rabbits are not 'low maintenance' pets," says DeMello; they require at least the same amount of work as a cat or dog, and often more. Chocolate rabbits are a great alternative; kids can enjoy them for 10 minutes, and they won't have to take care of them for the next 10 years."
This year, House Rabbit has partnered with Rescue Chocolate, makers of fine chocolates. Rescue Chocolate's proceeds are donated entirely to animal rescue organizations, and $1 of each chocolate bunny purchased will be donated to House Rabbit Society (just write HRS in the notes field with your order).
Mary Cotter, vice-president of HRS, says that many of the rabbits purchased as Easter pets will never live to see their first birthday. Some will die from neglect, while others will be abandoned in local parks or left at animal shelters. "It is irresponsible for pet stores to push rabbits and other so-called Easter animals during the holiday," says Cotter. "Unless parents are willing to take full responsibility for the possible 10-year lifepan of a live rabbit, they should buy their children chocolate rabbits instead."
Most children want a companion they can hold, carry and cuddle, but rabbits are fragile, ground-loving creatures who break easily when dropped. Additionally, rabbits are easily frightened by loud noises. It is unreasonable to expect a small child to make a 10-year commitment to taking care of a rabbit. All too often, the child loses interest, and the rabbit ends up neglected or abandoned.
Does this mean no families with children should never have pet rabbits? "Not at all!" says DeMello. "But what it does mean is that parents must be actively involved on a daily basis, and willing to supervise any interactions between rabbits and children. Otherwise, chocolate is the way to go!"
For families willing to make the long-term commitment , here are a few points to consider before acquiring a rabbit:
A person who chooses a baby rabbit as a pet must:
If you think you would enjoy sharing your home with a rabbit, please contact your local animal shelter, HRS chapter or rabbit rescue group for information about adopting a rabbit. No matter where you live, you are probably within 10 miles of a rabbit who desperately needs a safe, indoor home. If you are not sure you can make this kind of commitment, please consider buying your child a chocolate bunny this Easter instead.
About House Rabbit Society
House Rabbit Society is an international, volunteer-based nonprofit organization with two primary goals: 1) to rescue abandoned rabbits and find permanent homes for them; 2) to educate the public and assist humane societies in teaching proper rabbit care. For more information on HRS and to find the chapter nearest you, please contact House Rabbit Society, 148 Broadway, Richmond, CA, 510-970-7575, or visit our web site at www.rabbit.org
House Rabbit Society is a nonprofit rescue and education group.
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