Rabbits can make wonderful pets for people who are ready to meet their unique care needs, but many people who impulse-purchase bunnies as Easter gifts are ill-prepared to meet the challenge. When their maturing new pets’ care demands and prolific breeding habits become evident, many end up releasing their bunnies outdoors, unaware that domestic rabbits cannot survive in the wild. Others give up their pets to animal shelters like Animal Care & Control of NYC (AC&C) or its rabbit adoption partner, NYC Metro Rabbit, the adoption program of Rabbit Rescue & Rehab. These organizations alone take in roughly 600 rabbits each year, making rabbits the third-largest animal shelter population after cats and dogs.
In December, the New York City Council passed a law banning the sale of rabbits in pet stores. The measure, signed into law by Mayor de Blasio, goes into effect on June 17, 2015. This law will help reduce the number of unwanted rabbits who are brought to shelters or released outdoors. Starting on June 17, any New York City resident interested in getting a rabbit as a new pet must adopt from a shelter or rescue group. Even before that date, we encourage New Yorkers who are prepared to add a rabbit to their family to adopt rather than purchase a bunny from a pet store. All pet rabbits should be spayed or neutered to prevent nuisance behaviors, overpopulation, and displacement.
Have Your Rabbit Spayed or Neutered for Free on March 28!
Saturday, March 28, 2015
The Humane Society of New York, 306 East 59th Street (between 1st and 2nd Avenues), NYC
Appointments must be made in advance by calling (212) 752-4842. Rabbit owners may be asked to bring their rabbits in for a free check-up a few days before the surgery.
Don’t Shop. Adopt a Rabbit This Spring!
Jane Hoffman, president of the Alliance, encouraged New Yorkers who are considering adding a bunny to their families to adopt from rescue groups and shelters instead of buying rabbits from pet stores.
“Adopting provides many benefits,” explains Hoffman. “Like all New York City shelter animals, shelter rabbits are spayed or neutered before they are given to their adopters to take home. Also, adoption counselors are expert matchmakers, and they can provide guidance on how to care for rabbits, which is very different from caring for cats and dogs.”
Among the many places New Yorkers can adopt rabbits are the Humane Society of New York; the Manhattan location of Animal Care & Control of NYC (AC&C); Petco’s East 86th Street and Union Square stores and some Petland Discounts locations, which have rabbits and adoption counselors from NYC Metro Rabbit; Brooklyn’s Sean Casey Animal Rescue, and Long Island Rabbit Rescue Group.
If you see a rabbit below who you would like to meet, please contact his/her shelter or rescue group for more information.