ORANGE PARK, Fla. - As we hippity hop toward Easter, Clay Humane, a nonprofit veterinary clinic in Orange Park, has some advice for families considering adopting a rabbit.
"Bunnies are adorable and a familiar symbol of Easter, so many children beg their parents for pet rabbits around the holiday," said Dr. Christian Broadhurst, senior staff veterinarian at Clay Humane. "Unfortunately, many rabbits are abandoned and end up in shelters after Easter because people don't understand bunnies need a lot of attention and time."
Broadhurst offers five tips for families thinking about taking home a rabbit:
- Ensure you have time to allow your pet rabbit time to exercise outside his or her cage. Rabbits needs lots of exercise every day.
- Make sure you are prepared to clean the rabbit's litter box daily. Bunnies need clean litter boxes each day.
- Keep a special diet of Timothy hay and well-washed dark, leafy green vegetables on hand. Do not feed rabbits food that isn't part of their special diet.
- Rabbits typically don't like to be picked up. Make sure family members understand your pet rabbit most likely will not like being cuddled.
- Prepare for regular trips to the veterinarian. Just like other pets, rabbits need regular checkups to stay healthy.
"Rabbits make excellent pets for people who have the time and patience to care for these beautiful creatures," Broadhurst said. "If you aren't sure if you are ready to adopt a rabbit, try giving your child a stuffed bunny to teach him or her about caring for a pet. Then, when you are ready to adopt a pet rabbit, visit a local animal shelter or rescue group.”
Clay Humane is a nonprofit animal welfare organization offering spay/neuter surgeries and other veterinary care at substantially reduced rates. Located in Orange Park, the clinic also offers humane education, pet behavioral counseling, pet therapy, wildlife protection and disaster preparation and response.
Established in 1978, Clay Humane relies on grants, donations and fundraisers to operate and is committed to providing care to animals throughout Florida’s First Coast.
For more information about Clay Humane, please visit www.clayhumane.org.
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