The MSPCA believes that all animals deserve our respect and compassion, and that we have a responsibility to care for and protect our companion animals. In order to prevent the continued displacement of homeless animals, we conduct adoption programs that place animals with adopters who are knowledgeable and capable of providing permanent, responsible, and loving homes.
Domestic rabbits are no exception to this mission. Fun and social animals, rabbits can make wonderful pets. But they are also prey animals, and therefore naturally more timid around people than cats and dogs. This begs for a different perspective in regards to placement and care. Rabbits deserve to live with families who make a commitment to handle them daily, provide plenty of supervised exercise, and offer a healthy diet rich in fresh produce.
Sadly, rabbits are sometimes viewed as a short-term pet commitment, and have thus become a popular pet for children, for whom the novelty wears off quickly. Mistakenly seen as an ideal “first time pet” because they live in a cage, many people don’t recognize the great amount of time and care these small mammals require. Sterilized rabbits can live 10 years or more, and require daily cage cleaning and opportunities to exercise outside of the cage each day as well. But given the care and attention they deserve, rabbits can be really rewarding pets. They are highly trainable, can be taught to use a litter box, and can happily live in smaller homes and apartments (as long as their cage is roomy!).
Some families decide to acquire a pet rabbit around the Easter holiday as a gift for children. While we recognize that the Easter “hype” might draw more attention to these animals, we don’t shy away from adoptions during the spring. The MSPCA engages in thorough adoption counseling with every family who is interested in adoption, to help them decide which pet is the best choice for them based on their experience, lifestyle, and commitment. And while we feel rabbits are great pets, they aren’t the best choice for everyone. We also place other small mammals: guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, degus, chinchillas, ferrets, and domestic mice and rats, into loving, forever homes; in many cases, these animals may be a better choice than rabbits for certain families.
The MSPCA offer opportunities for families to learn more about rabbits by hosting several Community Education Presentations. Click here to learn about our "Rabbits 101" and "Rabbit Fest" presentations!