July is Adopt a Rabbit Month
Contact: Margo DeMello
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — July 1, 2002
House Rabbit Society, ASPCA Promote July As "Adopt A Rescued Rabbit Month"
(Richmond, CA) — House Rabbit Society (HRS), an international nonprofit animal rescue and education group, joins with the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) in celebrating July as the first-ever "Adopt A Rescued Rabbit Month."
Margo DeMello, President and Executive Director of the Richmond-based HRS, explains that the timing of this educational effort couldn't be better. "Mid-summer is always the toughest season for rabbit rescue organizations all over the country," she explains. "We are flooded with calls about unwanted and abandoned rabbits — many of which were babies purchased as Easter gifts just a few months ago, by families who didn't know how to care for and interact with them. Now the kids have grown tired of them, and thousands of them are being dropped off at already-crowded shelters." This month, our volunteers will be putting in extra hours to educate the public and to adopt rabbits out to caring homes.
HRS's mission is twofold — to education the public about these often-misunderstood companion animals, and to help rescue and "re-home" domestic rabbits. However, DeMello cautions, rabbits are not for everyone, and therefore House Rabbit Society volunteers work hard to educate the public about what rabbits are, and what they are not.
"Rabbits can be wonderful indoor companions, get along with many other companion animals (including cats and dogs), are intelligent, affectionate and inquisitive, and can easily be trained to use a litter box," DeMello explains. "However, they can also be destructive … the ideal 'rabbit person,' in addition to being gentle and eager to get to know a rabbit on his or her terms, must be willing to rabbit-proof their home to prevent destructive chewing."
Like the ASPCA, HRS advocates spaying and neutering rabbits — both for health reasons and also to help put an end to the animal overpopulation problem.
HRS also works to debunk the myth that rabbits are an ideal pet for children; in reality, even baby bunnies tend to be willful, independent, and do not enjoy being picked up and carried. HRS also cautions against buying or adopting a rabbit as a gift, or on a whim, as the novelty of having a new pet usually wears off, and when a family realizes how much day-to-day work is involved, the rabbit is, unfortunately, often turned loose or surrendered to a shelter.
For more information on Adopt a Rescued Rabbit Month, log onto www.aspca.org, www.petfinder.com, or www.rabbit.org. For more information on House Rabbit Society's rescue and education work in your area, please call House Rabbit Society at (510) 970-7575 or visit www.rabbit.org.
House Rabbit Society is an international, nonprofit organization based in Richmond, CA, with two main goals: to rescue and re-home abandoned rabbits, and to improve rabbits' lives by helping people better understand these often misunderstood companion animals, through our publications, website, educational materials and classes.