Dear Pet Store,
I am writing to ask that you reconsider the sale of rabbits in your store. Perhaps you are unaware of the fact that, according to the Humane Society of the United States, rabbits are the third most-frequently relinquished species at shelters across the country – a huge, and largely hidden, problem, because many members of the general public are simply not aware of it.
The rabbits that your store sells only contribute to the vast problem of rabbit overpopulation, abandonment, and euthanasia.
Pet store staff are not experienced with working with rabbits, and cannot educate potential customers on the details about rabbit care; without such education, purchasers find that the rabbits they’ve bought are too much trouble, and bring them to their local animal shelter.
These problems can be prevented only by skilled, up-front screening of all potential adopters by rabbit caregivers with long-term, first-hand knowledge of companion rabbits. The result is that many of the rabbits sold by your store will be dropped off at animal shelters, where, if not adopted or rescued by groups like House Rabbit Society, they will be euthanized. Others will simply be released into neighborhoods or wilderness areas because of the tragically mistaken belief that a companion rabbit set loose will join a wild rabbit family. Instead, these rabbits fall victim to dogs, cats, raccoons, raptors, and automobiles.
Contrary to popular belief, rabbits are not low-maintenance animals. In fact, compared to dogs and cats, they are actually high-maintenance pets. The hundreds of phone calls that we receive every week demonstrate that people who purchase rabbits at pet stores simply do not attain enough information on how to care for them, nor do they commit to the ten years or more that a rabbit will live.
In closing, I ask that you reconsider your decision to sell rabbits in your store. I understand that your store does not sell dogs and cats. Rabbits are no different, and we ask that you extend the same protection to rabbits, and remember that compassion should not be limited to one or two animal species.