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SALT LAKE CITY — As Easter approaches, many people may be inspired to add their own little Peter Cottontail or Thumper to the family.
Although rabbits make great pets and a timely gift for the holiday, people need to understand what kind of commitment they are getting into.
"Rabbits are affectionate, intelligent, quiet companions that can make a good house pet for the right person," said Deanne Shepherd, director of marketing and communications for The Humane Society of Utah.
Rather than deterring people from adopting around Easter, The Humane Society of Utah relies on proper education and the adoption screening process to ensure rabbits find homes and are being adopted for the right reasons.
“HSU does not believe in holding a rabbit back from finding a loving home because of a holiday,” Shepherd said.
While the HSU warns against impulsive decisions to adopt a bunny for your Easter basket, they still want to encourage families who educate themselves and understand the commitment to go for it.
“If someone is thinking about getting a pet rabbit, we’d prefer to educate them and have them adopt a rabbit from us instead of buying one and not understanding how to care for it properly,” Shepherd said.
(Humane Society of Utah) does not believe in holding a rabbit back from finding a loving home because of a holiday.
Rabbits are surrendered to HSU throughout the year, not just during and after the Easter holiday. All of them are spayed and neutered before being adopted, which is one of the perks and mutual benefits of adoption.
There are a few things to consider when choosing to adopt a pet rabbit:
- They need a lot of affection and attention and can live for eight to 12 years with the proper care and diet. You also need to consistently trim their nails and teeth.
- They may not like being held due to being timid prey animals, and you'll want to have a bunny-proof room for playtime since they like to chew on electrical cords and wood.
- You can actually train rabbits to use a litter box just as a cat would by using a clicker.
- You should know what is and isn't safe to feed them. For instance, did you know that rabbits shouldn't eat too many carrots? They actually require a diet of hay, pellets and leafy greens, according to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.