Do research before getting a pet rabbit this Easter, Mississauga Animal Services says

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Published April 3, 2023 at 11:08 am

rabbits mississauga
City of Mississauga photo

Rabbits are a symbol of spring traditionally tied to the Easter holiday but the City of Mississauga suggests doing research before getting one as a pet.

“Every spring, shelters and rabbit rescues find themselves overcome with rabbits after they wear out their welcome in their new homes,” the City of Mississauga said in a tweet. “Please do your research before welcoming a new pet into your household.”

Easter arrives this weekend (April 9) and with it comes a celebration with chocolate eggs and rabbits.

And as tempting as it might be to give a real bunny to children as an Easter present, a pet rabbit is a commitment that could last 10 to 12 years.

Last spring, Mississauga Animal Services reported a large uptake in the number of rabbits being abandoned or dropped off at the city shelter. Part of this was attributed to “pandemic pets” — people adopted pets for comfort during lockdowns — but many were expected to be dropped off because the animals are often given away as gifts during Easter.

“Most rabbits lose their homes because of ‘people reasons’ such as a move or the owner’s inability or unwillingness to care for the animal, not because the rabbit has behavioural or health problems,” the Humane Society notes.

rabbits mississauga

Animal Services currently has eight bunnies up for adoption in Mississauga. City of Mississauga photo

The city hopes to avoid an uptick in rabbit surrenders to shelters and reminds residents of the responsibility of welcoming a rabbit as a pet.

Here are some things to consider before getting a rabbit:

  • Rabbits are social animals. They need space to relax, but shouldn’t be secluded from the family.
  • They require a specialized diet, daily care, supervised exercise, pen cleaning and socialization.
  • They should be spayed or neutered to prevent related health and behavioural issues.
  • Often don’t like to be picked up or cuddled.
  • Rabbits can be costly to own. Be prepared for an adoption fee, housing, food and rabbit-proofing supplies.
  • They are curious animals and can get into trouble chewing on things or digging around the house.
  • They can live from 10 to 12 years.
  • They can be litter trained.

If you are ready to adopt a new fluffy friend, the City of Mississauga currently has eight bunnies looking for homes. See the website for more information.

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