So, the season for cute fluffy chicks and painted eggs is upon us – Easter. Coloured ribbons, chocolate crème filled eggs and fluffy bunnies are assaulting our senses from every direction, but a post on Facebook has left a bad taste in my mouth. Rusty is my house rabbit, he takes up half of our front room and never goes without. He’s completely spoiled, but he comes with story. Read about us taking him in on this post,
but he never really left!
Please do not, absolutely do not, buy your children a pet rabbit for Easter.
Rusty came from a home where he was gotten as a gift for two boys, and over time they just didn’t give him the attention that he needed – a post on Facebook offering him up for free cropped up on my own feed, and as a previous rabbit owner I knew I had to take him. A rabbit is a huge commitment, and not one to take lightly.
My front room always smells of hay, and rabbit, and rabbit nuggets. Not really the most appetising scent to walk in to some days, but with cats and dogs prowling the back of our house I wouldn’t ever consider him going back outside. Spending almost £100 on an indoor enclosure was the best thing I ever did, closely followed by Mike adjusting a shoe rack and creating a run for him so his cage door is never closed and he can enter and exit it whenever his little bunny self likes to.
He has fresh food every single day – even if we don’t. I’m always stalking to the local shop and clearing the fresh vegetable reductions! I can often get a weeks worth of rabbit dinners for £3 to £4, but with nuggets and other things such as sawdust, hay and straw – I’d say it pushes things to £10 a week. If it falls on a flea week, it often pushes £20. For the months he needs his boosters, that adds an extra £45 on top of everything.
He gets cleaned out fully, once a week. Smaller cleans happen every day. Megan gets involved a little with those, although she doesn’t like his pooh I endeavour to teach her that having an animal is a commitment – she had pet fish at home that didn’t last very long due to her neglecting them. While she knows that Rusty is ‘mine’, I try get her involved as much as I can. When I was her age, I had two pet gerbils named Robbie and Henry (after the Paul brothers in Rugby League) and a hamster named Gareth (after Gareth Gates).
So no, a rabbit is not just a flippant decision while stood outside Pets at Home
. Thankfully, Pets at Home have outdone themselves and made a decision I 100% condone.
They will not allow rabbits to be adopted over Easter.
If only the rest of the world would follow suit. A rabbit is a real animal, that requires loving care and commitment. It isn’t just a throwaway decision you should make – they can live up to ten years and the amount of rabbits that are sent to rescues (or like Rusty was – offered up on Facebook for free) is absolutely shameful. When you can’t look after a pet and you offer it for free, you open the doors to anyone simply walking in and taking that animal for their own means. Rusty was lucky, he’s now shacked up with a blog writing blonde & a computer gamer with a talent for making rabbit runs.
Not all will be so lucky.