Last week, we discussed if bringing a house bunny home was the right decision, not just for your family, but more importantly, for your bunny!
This week, we’ll discuss the common question that many to-be pet owners ask themselves: should I purchase my fur-baby, or adopt?
Before we begin, I’ll come clean and confess that I’m pro-adoption when it comes to house bunnies. Although it’s easier to purchase a bun from a pet store, I feel there are more benefits to adoption and I’m happy to share my reasons with you all!
Adoption: Giving a bunny a second chance
I believe that to understand the importance of adoption in the house bunny community, it’s important to understand the current situation house bunnies currently face in America. At the moment, domesticated rabbits are one of the most abused, neglected and abandoned pet species in the nation, with dozens of rabbits being left behind by pet owners who no longer wish to care for them. Many rabbits are abandoned in the wild, however since they are domesticated, they lack some of the knowledge and skills necessary to survive in the wild. My own fur-baby, Prince Ali, was found left on the side of the road, incredibly frightened and malnourished. I adopted my other bun, Millie, after her mother was abandoned while pregnant, soon giving birth to a litter of eight bunnies, including Millie, shortly after being rescued by an organization in Illinois.
Although there are rescue organizations and shelters dedicated to rescuing and fostering abandoned bunnies like Prince Ali and Millie’s family, it’s easy for these organizations to become overwhelmed by the amount of rescues they take in, and it’s important for these bunnies to find forever homes soon in order to make room for more arrivals.
If humans deserve seconds chances, why wouldn’t bunnies deserve a second chance at a loving and comfortable life? There are some amazing, beautiful and loving fur-babies just waiting for a family that will finally love them the way they deserve, and you could be that family to take them in and show them the good life they never had.
If I had the space and money, I would try my hardest to adopt all the bunnies I could!
Pet Stores: The Transaction of Rabbits
Now, the second reason I prefer adoption over the buying of house bunnies are pet stores. More specifically, how pet stores receive bunnies for sale and how they treat the bunnies while they are in their care.
I know many of you have heard of puppy mills — breeder farms that produce puppies in mass bulk for purchasing. For those who don’t know, animals that are kept in mills like these are usually kept in horrible conditions with limited space and the most basic care. Each year, rescue organizations strive to close puppy mills, and for good reasons.
Now, if there are such things as puppy mills for dogs, there are such things as bunny mills for house bunnies, and the majority of house rabbits sold in pet stores come from such mills. Not to be overdramatic, but to me, to continue purchasing from pet stores is to continue supporting bunny mills, plain and simple.
Pet Store Conditions
Now, I think this one is pretty simple: pet stores simply cannot give a rabbit the care they need and to buy from a pet store is to give the store the money to continue running the way it is.
House bunnies are naturally energetic. They like to run and jump and dig and overall explore and to be kept in a small cage at a pet store is horrible for not only their physical health, but also their mentality. Rabbits that do not receive the proper exercise and mental stimulation they need often go into depression and sometimes self-harm or refuse to eat or drink.
On top of exercise and space to move, rabbits require a balanced diet of hay, greens and pellets, however pet stores usually only provide hay and fail to provide buns with a source of greens that they need to stay healthy in order to cut costs.
I can go on and on about how pet stores do not provide the necessary care for house bunnies, but I think I’ll just leave it there and allow you readers to form your own opinions on this matter.
Adopt or Buy: Ultimately Your Choice
I apologize if this post felt more like a rant than a discussion, but this is a topic that I can’t help but feel passionate about.
Ultimately, it is the pet owner’s decision, however I always request that anyone interested in a bunny do their own research on whether purchasing or adopting is a better choice.
With any choice, there are benefits and negatives that come with each decision but I always try to make the decision that is best for the bunny and I feel that adoption, all in all, is the better way to go and the decision that will leave with me with least amount of regrets.
Again, it’s up to you on whether you wish to purchase or adopt your new fur-baby but if you are interested in adopting a bunny after reading this article, I will post some links to a few adoption organizations around the Midwest that have house bunnies waiting for a new home.
Hopefully you can find the next addition to your family!
And remember, a great bunny owner is an informed one.
Links to Near-By Adoption Organizations
|Wisconsin House Rabbit Society|
|House Rabbit Society of Chicago|
|A Home for EveryBunny: Iowa’s Rabbit Rescue|
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