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Letter: Rabbits for Easter

I am writing this to urge parents who are considering the purchase of a bunny for their children this Easter to reconsider. Bunnies are adorable and fun now, but will they still be perceived this way in 6 months? Will they end up forgotten and alone in the backyard or dropped off at a shelter?

I do not believe in keeping rabbits in backyard hutches. It is a lonely, boring and unsafe life. Rabbits are clean animals, that can live indoors because they can be trained to use a litter box. Rabbits are social creatures, and if you have two, they will spend the day grooming one another and playing. A rabbit who has no companionship from humans or another rabbit lives a very sad life. Outdoor rabbits are susceptible to attacks from predators and can suffer heart attacks or broken backs trying to escape. Rabbits are very sensitive to heat and can suffer from heat stroke. Winter can cause frost bite and frozen water can lead to dehydration.

Rabbits are playful and love to run, jump in the air, play with toys and carve doors and windows into cardboard boxes. Rabbits do have a natural inclination to chew and this includes wires and furniture. Unless rabbits are kept in a “rabbit-proofed” room, they should be confined to a cage or pen when no one is home to supervise their play. Rabbits can make good pets, but they are not the easiest. One should research having a rabbit as an indoor pet before getting one.

If you decide that an indoor rabbit would work in your home, consider adopting rather than buying. There are hundreds of homeless rabbits in the Northeast alone. Check out www.hopline.com for local adoptable rabbits and more information.

MAUREEN IPPOLITO

Leverett

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