The BC SPCA says that while rabbits may be cute

Rabbits make for bad Easter gifts: BC SPCA

They may be cute, but pets are an expensive, lifetime commitment

The Victoria branch of the BC SPCA knows that advertising works, especially when it comes to parents and children associating Easter with adorable, fluffy animals. Bunnies and chicks used in Easter adverts tug at the heartstrings, but the SPCA hopes parents won’t gift rabbits, chickens and ducks this weekend.

“I think it happens everywhere. We end up getting a lot of people interested,” said branch manager Annie Prittie Bell. “People are suddenly interested, but then after time goes by they decide that ‘I didn’t know it costs this to take care of a rabbit.’”

Caring for a rabbit can cost between $3,000 and $4,000 over its lifetime, including about $200 in one-time costs for spaying/neutering, and buying a habitat, litter box, care book, dishes, brush and water bottle.

Then there are annual costs of around $300 for food, veterinary visits, and white wood shavings. Also, rabbits, while cute and cuddly, demand the same level of commitment and care as a cat or a dog.

“That’s where we try to educate, talking about the commitment of a rabbit. You’re looking at 12 years of care and not insignificant costs of care,” Prittie Bell said. “It does add up more than what people anticipate. We try to really let people know what it means.”

Last year the Victoria branch, which services the entire lower Island, adopted out 42 bunnies. There are on average about 15 at a time housed at the shelter on Napier Lane.

“We always have a lot of rabbits, but we don’t want them adopted just because somebody has a whim. We want them to go into forever homes,” Prittie Bell said. “And we don’t want them released, because they aren’t able to fend for themselves in the same way as a wild one.”

Domesticated rabbits enjoy attention and affection, but most do not like being held or cuddled because it initiates a feeling of being caught by a predator. Held rabbits often try to escape and can suffer serious injured if they fall, or a child may be injured by the rabbit’s powerful hind legs in the struggle.

“If you don’t think through the purchase of an Easter rabbit you may regret your decision,” said Craig Naherniak, the SPCA’s general manager of humane education. “The commitment of care must extend throughout the animal’s lifetime. If you are the least bit hesitant about the decade-long commitment of a rabbit in your family, the option is simple – give children stuffed animals or chocolate as Easter gifts.”

reporter@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

UPDATED: Oak Bay father takes stand, denies killing young daughters

Andrew Berry has plead not guilty to the December 2017 deaths of his two daughters

Relative of man found dead in Saanich says he was missing for years

RCMP and a private detective had been searching for him since 2012

Man who killed Langford teen attended her memorial service, demonstrates little remorse

Parole Board of Canada documents reveal factors in parole decision

Saanich Police warn of counterfeit money being used

Several fake $100 bills have been reported in Greater Victoria

Victoria police seek help finding ‘high risk’ missing woman

Brown, 30, is described as an Indigenous woman standing five feet, six inches tall, weighing 170 pounds

VIDEO: Title of 25th Bond movie is ‘No Time to Die’

The film is set to be released in April 2020

POLL: Should there be a ban on gas-powered leaf blowers?

We’ve all heard them, and most likely cursed them under our breath.… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of Aug. 23

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

New study suggests autism overdiagnosed: Canadian expert

Laurent Mottron: ‘Autistic people we test now are less and less different than typical people’

Trans Mountain gives contractors 30 days to get workers, supplies ready for pipeline

Crown corporation believes the expansion project could be in service by mid-2022

Rosemount cooked diced chicken linked to listeria case in B.C.

The symptoms of listeria include vomiting, nausea, fever, muscle aches

B.C. seniors allowed more choice to stay in assisted living

Province doesn’t need to wait for a complaint to investigate care, Adrian Dix says

Retired B.C. fisherman wins record $60M Lotto Max jackpot

Joseph Katalinic won the biggest Lotto Max prize ever awarded

Island manslaughter suspect found not guilty in Supreme Court

Court accepts accused’s argument of self-defence for 2017 incident in Courtenay

Most Read