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    JudyKayTee's Avatar
    JudyKayTee Posts: 46,503, Reputation: 4600
    Uber Member

    Mar 2, 2014, 11:37 AM
    Info on adopting a rabbit
    A rescue group in my area has been formed to rehome domestic rabbits. That’s good news, of course, but they are posting photos of the available rabbits with catchy titles and names and absolutely no info about the good/bad/ugly/expense of owning a rabbit - or “rabbit requirements!” (I myself had two at one time and recall taking them in to get their teeth filed down a couple of times a year, and I'm positive the Vet recommended neutering them.) I know almost nothing about rabbits, but I do know they take care, like any other animal, and I thought that inside, unsupervised rabbits chewed cords.

    The group is not requiring neutering or spaying - nor are the rabbits neutered/spayed when you adopt one.

    It would be wonderful if these rabbits found permanent homes, but I don’t see that happening the way they are being advertised.

    I need a rabbit expert to help me write a brief letter to the newspaper “gently” suggesting that people who take rabbits should be aware of Z, Y and Z. Maybe they are good pets but they do require... something.

    Alty! Are your ears ringing?
    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,302, Reputation: 7692

    Mar 2, 2014, 04:36 PM
    Inside a unsupervised rabbit will chew on furniture, cords, even the walls. There is proper housing, bedding, vet visits if ill, check ups with vets and more.
    tickle's Avatar
    tickle Posts: 23,800, Reputation: 2674

    Mar 2, 2014, 10:03 PM
    Good to see you back Judy !
    Alty's Avatar
    Alty Posts: 28,318, Reputation: 5972
    Pets Expert

    Mar 2, 2014, 10:15 PM
    Judy, so glad to see you. Missed you lady.

    Okay, here's my rabbit 101 info, and I won't be able to cover everything unless you want to read a book about rabbits. :)

    One, all rabbits chew on anything they can get their teeth on. My bunny room is basically bunny proof. I can put up a wall around my computer area, and that's all it takes to make it bunny safe. All the outlets are covered (I did that when Syd had the room and didn't want to risk her poking things into the outlets). When they're not in their bunny room, they're in the bunny binky room (a dog enclosure which sadly, Kilala, the smallest of my bunnies (weighs less than 2 pounds soaking wet) can climb. It's made for a large breed dog.

    A rabbits teeth grow its entire life. Given the proper food, and proper toys (a grinding stone etc) a rabbit will not need to have its teeth filed until it's near the end of its life. It's all about care. If you don't give your rabbit the proper food and tools, you will need to spend money on dental care throughout their lives. I've never had my rabbits teeth filed, because it's not necessary for them. They all have the things they need to keep their teeth filed naturally. Think of rabbits in the wild, they don't have access to filing. A grinding stone and salt lick combo can be purchased at Walmart in Canada for under $2.

    Spaying or neutering. Rabbits reach sexual maturity at the age of 6 months. At that time a male will become aggressive, start spraying, start lunging. A pet that was docile and loving before, suddenly becomes the worst pet ever. Neutering will change that. For females it's not a matter of behavior, it's a matter of health. An unspayed female has a very high chance of cancer, but I just lost my 12 year old unspayed female. Yes, she died of cancer, but she lived for 12 years, unspayed (only because she was too old to spay when we got her). For females it's a health thing, and not necessarily a must do unless they live with other rabbits, then there's the question of breeding.

    Rabbits need at least 4-6 hours of hop around time every day if they're to be happy healthy pets. They should not be left to roam the home, there are too many things that they will explore that could kill them. They are not good companions for cats or dogs.

    Rabbits need regular vet visits. Depending on where you live it can cost up to $300 plus to spay or neuter a rabbit, so a rabbit you get for free that isn't fixed, really won't be free. I know, I'm doing that as we speak, picking up a new rabbit posted for free online. She's a year old, not fixed. I'm only doing this because Oreo passed away, I have an empty cage, and this bunny needs a good home. But she's far from free.

    A rabbits diet is key. A rabbit needs to eat daily to survive. A rabbit that doesn't eat, is a sick rabbit. Their digestive systems are unique. They have no gag reflex, and their bellies depend on food to survive. They need timothy hay every day to help them digest food, and live. They need a fresh supply of water every day. They do not like to be held by humans, they tolerate it. They aren't like dogs that will make humans their pack, they are happiest with other rabbits. They are not easy pets by any means.

    This might help a bit:

    Stop being a stranger lady. I miss you! If you have more questions, ask. I know I didn't cover even 1/50 of what there is to know about rabbits. Like I said, working on the book. ;)
    JudyKayTee's Avatar
    JudyKayTee Posts: 46,503, Reputation: 4600
    Uber Member

    Mar 3, 2014, 12:44 PM
    Thanks everyone - it was good to see familiar names again.

    Alty, that's a very good start for me. I want to just say, "Perhaps you should make people aware ..." give them some info to pass along. I'm approaching it from my experience with rescue (which basically was "I don't want them back here again") - informed "adopters" are happy "adopters" or something similar.

    Thanks again.
    odinn7's Avatar
    odinn7 Posts: 7,691, Reputation: 1547
    Entomology Expert

    Mar 3, 2014, 03:26 PM
    I don't want to derail this thread but I can't PM you so I just wanted to say I am glad to see you're here!
    Alty's Avatar
    Alty Posts: 28,318, Reputation: 5972
    Pets Expert

    Mar 5, 2014, 03:49 PM
    Judy, I'd be willing to write something up for you, a handbook on rabbit care that can be given to potential adopters. It would take some time for me to do, but if that would be helpful, I'd be more than willing to do it. Let me know.

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