April 15, 2014 - 8:29 AM
THOMPSON-OKANAGAN — Easter is just around the corner and for those of you trying to figure out what to get the kids this holiday the B.C. SPCA wants you to think stuffed and chocolate rabbits, not live ones.
Live rabbits, chicks and ducks do not make good Easter gifts, and often go neglected soon after the novelty wears off.
Currently there are just under a dozen rabbits available for adoption through the regional SPCA branches and while staff would like to see the rabbits, which can live up to 12 years, adopted to good families they don’t want people assuming because rabbits are associated with Easter they make good Easter gifts.
“It’s a large commitment, think it through,” Animal Care Supervisor Sarah Gerow says, adding while they can be somewhat cuddly pets it can take awhile to properly socialize them. “They are not starter pets.”
In Kamloops alone three rabbits have been waiting for a home for several months, and more than a dozen found homes through the shelter last year. Another six are on a waiting list to be brought in. Staff and volunteers want to see the hard-to-adopt animals find new homes, but want people to carefully consider and research caring for rabbits first.
Costs to care for the small animal can easily reach between $3,000 to $4,000, which includes annual vet, food and bedding costs of about $300, and require at least the same commitment of care as a cat or dog.
Many domestic rabbits are found roaming the streets and yards in town when people get tired of them and the SPCA gets regular calls of seemingly domesticated animals that appear to be stray.
Abandoned Easter pets have not been as much of an issue the last couple years, Gerow notes, but it has been in the past and staff don’t want to see it grow to be an issue again.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014