According to the Chinese Zodiac, 2011 is the year of the rabbit. These sweet, social animals can be wonderful companions, but are they right for your family? Animal advocate Cindy Stutts of the House Rabbit Society's New York chapter, Rabbit Rescue and Rehab, offers some helpful hints to help determine if a bunny is the right furry friend for you.
Rabbits as Pets
Relatively easy animals to care for, rabbits are clean, quiet, and use litter boxes. They have an outgoing, social personality similar to that of a dog, and don't require a yard if they are given plenty of sun-lit indoor exercise space.
Making the Commitment
Rabbits are the third most surrendered animal (behind dogs and cats) in the United States because people often get them impulsively. Parents will indulge their children with a pet rabbit at Easter or for the Chinese New Year, but when the children get bored and lose interest in their new pet, the rabbit is abandoned. Rabbits live for approximately 10 years: You should get a rabbit only if you are willing to make a long-term commitment to care for the animal, with proper veterinary attention, daily maintenance, a nutritious diet, and exercise.
Where to Adopt
Once you have decided that you are ready to commit to properly caring for a rabbit, reach out to your local animal shelter or Humane Society, or visit rabbit.org to find a local rabbit rescue organization in your area.