Calling all parents! Before giving into the cry’s of your child wanting that cute bunny, be sure that YOU as the responsible adult and parent want a rabbit, as a house pet. Are YOU ready for a 10 to 12 year commitment? Are YOU willing to make the rabbit part of your home and family?
It’s great you want to teach your child responsibility and how to care for an innocent animal who can’t care for themselves. What happens when your child no longer wants to clean the litter box or play with Thumper ? Is dumping the rabbit the right thing to do? We say no, it’s better for the parent to oversee the care of the family rabbit and to teach the valuable lesson to children that animals are NOT disposable just because we tire of them or don’t want to clean up after them. Rabbits rely on us to provide daily care for them. A daily checklist is a helpful guide to teach a child the daily responsibilities involved in caring for a pet rabbit. Include in the daily check list, spending time petting, playing and brushing the family rabbit. Giving up and returning a rabbit because a child doesn’t want to be involved in the daily care of a pet is wrong. It’s teaching a child that one can simply give up on caring for those who can’t care for themselves. It teaches irresponsibility. Read up on how to properly care for a rabbit friendsofunwantedrabbits.org.
When your child graduates High School and moves out of the house are you still going to want Thumper? Too often we see parents return rabbits once their child leaves for college. Not only is this heartbreaking for the rabbit(s), it creates a hardship for rabbit rescue organizations and shelters, who years prior, were told that the parents did indeed want the rabbit as a family pet.
It’s time for some real honesty. Think about what you are teaching your children. If you are not that die-hard animal lover who would never dump your rabbit then be honest with yourself and your child. Buy them a stuffed toy and forgo the real live bunny. You’ll save a lot of heartbreak and hardship later on. Be responsible and do the right thing.