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A rabbit as a house pet? Great idea!

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February is ‘Adopt a Rescued Rabbit Month’!

Did you know that rabbits are the third most popular household pet in North America, and make excellent pets?  RAPS currently has 74 rabbits; many of these rabbits have resided at the shelter for five or more years and nothing would make us happier than to find them loving, permanent homes.

During their stay with us, we try to enrich their lives as much as possible. Due to the number of rabbits in our care (and the unfortunate lack of space), we have integrated some of our rabbits into different colonies. The “colony rabbits” are carefully selected as colony candidates based on their temperaments. A considerable amount of thought went into forming the groups, as we want our rabbits to live as harmoniously as possible while they are at the shelter. Having a colony set-up has provided these rabbits with the social interaction, space and enrichment they crave. We’ve enjoyed watching friendships form within the groups – it is heartwarming to see a rabbit whose previous existence was living alone in a cage, to now enjoy the company of other rabbits.

For the rabbits at the shelter who are in cages and hutches, we enrich their lives by providing daily exercise and playtime in x-pens so that they can get out and stretch their legs. Our rabbits also receive love and attention from our dedicated staff as well as our volunteers who come in just to “rabbit comfort and cuddle.” The RAPS staff even make homemade toys and treats for our rabbits, such as hay-stuffed toilet paper rolls or frozen veggie popsicles!

Despite the hard work that goes into caring for our many rabbits, and the enrichment that they do receive, rabbits flourish best in a “house rabbit” set up, where they can receive extra love and attention, and be an integrated member of a family. Rabbits are very social animals who are full of personality and may be a great addition to a household that wants the benefits of an interactive relationship with a pet. Rabbits are also very quiet pets, which may make them great candidates for apartment living. They are easily house-trained too!

The RAPS staff know our bunnies’ personalities inside and out, including but not limited to their temperaments, likes and dislikes and are experts at matching rabbits to families.  If you are thinking of a rabbit or two, our staff would be more than happy to recommend a good match for you and your family. Or, if you have a single or pair of rabbits at home, our staff would be happy to set up a rabbit bonding session (be prepared to be patient!) to find the right bunny friend. 2017-04-01 12.03.24

Although rabbits make excellent pets, they are a big commitment and require just as much time and attention as a cat or dog. Rabbits need ample space to interact and explore, as well as reside and relax. They have special dietary requirements and need to see a veterinarian who has received specialized training. These amazing animals often thrive with the company of other rabbits, but can be very selective about the company they keep, so careful planning must go into choosing a friend. We always recommend that potential applicants do their research to ensure that the rabbit is the right pet for them.

If you are interested in bringing a rabbit into your life and home, we encourage you to come visit the shelter during visiting hours: Monday – Friday 12 noon – 5:30 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays 12 noon – 4:30 p.m.