Life Worthy

Some people have mixed feelings about keeping disabled rabbits alive when so many healthy ones are being euthanized in shelters. It’s not an either-or – it’s a both-and. 

Disabled rabbits. Elderly rabbits. Saving these “less-than” animals is a position we often have to defend. Especially in the context of the many healthy rabbits that are often euthanized at shelters.

 First we think of loyalty to family members. You wouldn’t dispose of a disabled animal who is living with you just because younger or healthier rabbits could take his place. A well-adjusted disabled or elderly rabbit is not the same thing as a suffering animal who has no hope of recovery.

Yes, we are certainly concerned about the rabbits in shelters. Any animal who has been abandoned is unfortunate. An abandoned rabbit who is injured or is not blessed with good health is doubly unfortunate. The degree of misfortune does not make an animal less worthy of life.

We would not deny care to people in nursing homes and convalescent hospitals, simply because there are many homeless people on the streets, who are younger or healthier. Supporting one kind of human or animal does not have to mean neglecting the other. When fosterers publicize a rabbit who needs special veterinary care, the funds raised are from people who particularly want to support these animals. [maybe a sentence here about the wonderful things we learn from caring for the disabled.

©Copyright Marinell Harriman. All Rights Reserved. Republished with the permission of the author.

  • Marinell Harriman

    Marinell Harriman is the author of The House Rabbit Handbook. Over the past 35 years she has fostered and rescued hundreds of rabbits. She has published numerous articles on house rabbit philosophy, care, and behavior. She has a special place in her heart for disabled and special needs rabbits.

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