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Four Reasons to NEVER Buy a Bunny as an Easter Gift

Animal Justice March 28, 2018

Easter is just around the corner, and with it comes family gatherings, chocolate, Easter egg hunts and gifts. It’s also a time of year when local animal rescue groups brace for the impact of thousands of people buying bunnies as gifts for children. Tragically, many of the rabbits are abandoned in the weeks after Easter, once families begin to realize that caring for a rabbit is a major commitment. We break down why giving a bunny as a gift is a terrible idea.

1. Companion animals should never be bought or adopted on impulse

Rabbits are incredible animals, but there are many questions to consider and prepare for before bringing a rabbit into the family. Many families aren’t prepared for the responsibility of pet ownership, and the joy of a new rabbit can quickly wear off. A rabbit’s lifespan is 8-12 years, and if a family loses interest, the bunny could suffer years of neglect. Rabbits are sensitive animals, and don’t make good pets for small children. A child’s enthusiasm and handling can be stressful for rabbits or even injure them. Rather than viewing rabbits and other pets as consumer items, it’s important to understand that they are individuals.

2. Rabbits have complex needs

Caring properly for a rabbit can be complex. Rabbits are high-maintenance pets with many specific physical and emotional needs. Rabbits may suffer from boredom and depression if they are kept in cages, so they need many hours of free-roaming time and mental stimulation every day in a spacious, rabbit-proof area. If an area isn’t rabbit-proofed, rabbits may chew items. Rabbits also require a diet rich in hay and fresh vegetables.

3. Many rabbits bought for Easter will end up dead or abandoned before their first birthday

Tragically, it’s all too common for people to dispose of rabbits once the responsibility of their care sets in and the excitement of Easter weekend wears off. Many rabbits will be brought to animal shelters, end up confined in outdoor hutches, or simply be abandoned. Bunnies who are released into the wild usually die from starvation, the elements or from predators.

4. Buying from pet stores supports bunny mills

Just like in puppy mills, bunnies are often bred in large facilities where their welfare is not respected. Bunny mills force rabbits to live their entire lives as breeding machines confined in cages, with no ability to roam, enjoy being with their families, or perform natural behaviours.

Babies are often taken from their mothers too early, at only a few weeks of age, because they look cute and take up less space in pet stores.

Meanwhile, shelters are overflowing with loving animals, including rabbits, who need forever homes. Purchasing rabbits from pet stores and breeders condemns rabbits in shelters and rescues to death, increasing euthanasia rates of healthy, adoptable pets.

Try these alternatives instead

Who doesn’t like chocolate, especially over Easter? Try gifting a plush toy or a dairy-free chocolate Easter bunny!

Bring your child to an animal sanctuary or volunteer at an animal shelter with them. These are great places to interact with animals, to teach children about different animals, and how to properly care for and respect them as individuals, not consumer items.

 

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Animal Justice

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Police Officer Faces Discipline for Rescuing Kitten from Meth User

Animal Justice December 2, 2016

TORONTO – A Durham region police officer who rescued a kitten named Tia from the home of a crystal meth user is facing a police tribunal disciplinary hearing on Monday. Police Constable Beth Richardson is charged with discreditable conduct for rescuing Tia after she found the kitten cowering under a chair at the home of the drug user.

National animal law advocacy organization Animal Justice will ask to intervene at the hearing to provide the Tribunal with valuable context on how the law is evolving to protect animals’ interests. Animal Justice will argue that the officer’s actions were heroic and compassionate–not wrongful.

According to the notice of hearing, P.C. Richardson was dispatched to a home where a woman had been using crystal meth for several days. She saw Tia hiding underneath a chair and believed the kitten was at risk and not being properly cared for. The officer took Tia to a veterinarian, but was forced to return her to the home later when the drug user’s boyfriend called to complain.

“P.C. Richardson deserves praise for trying to protect Tia, not punishment,” said lawyer Camille Labchuk, executive director of Animal Justice. “Tia should not be treated like a mere piece of property, but rather a living being with needs of her own. Our legal system should be used to help animals, not to punish those who try to protect them. It’s shocking that this officer is facing discipline for showing kindness toward a animal who appeared to be endangered and in need of protection. ”

Discreditable conduct is an offence under the Police Services Act and the officer could face punishment if the Tribunal finds her guilty.

The hearing will take place on Monday, December 5 at 9:30 am in Whitby, Ontario. Animal Justice has filed an application to intervene in the case and will ask the Tribunal to consider the application at the outset of the hearing.

Animal Justice is represented by lawyer Marc Isaacs of Isaacs and Co. law firm.

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For more information, contact:

Camille Labchuk
Executive Director
camille@animaljustice.ca

Animal Justice

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