House Rabbit Society (HRS), an international nonprofit animal rescue and education group,is celebrating February as "Adopt-a-Rescued-Rabbit Month."
Mary Cotter, Marketing/Education Director of the Richmond-based HRS says the organization will focus on partner adoptions during this special month: "Many people feel guilty leaving their companion rabbit home alone all day, when they are at work. Adopting a partner bunny is the perfect solution. It's not only good for your bunny; it's good for you!"
According to Cotter, two bunnies are not twice the work of one, as long as they are bonded. "They share living quarters, food and water bowls, and even a litterbox - so the cleanup is essentially the same. And the bunnies entertain one another, groom one another, and keep each other company when their humans are not at home."
"Introductions need to be done carefully," says Margo DeMello, President of HRS, who lives with a group of bonded rabbits herself. "Rabbits typically can be aggressive when first introduced, and injuries can occur if they are not properly supervised." She cautions that both rabbits must be spayed/neutered, not only to prevent breeding and health problems, but also so that their behavior toward one another is not determined by "raging hormones."
"Rabbits, like people, need time to work out their relationships," adds Cotter. "But a patient human caretaker will be well-rewarded: once they are bonded, there is just nothing more heartwarming than watching a bunny couple snuggle up to each other and kiss each other's faces."
HRS has chapters and representatives across the United States, as well as overseas, and most chapters offer bonded pairs for adoption, as well as single rabbits who can be bonded to a rabbit-in-residence. Many people new to rabbits prefer to start out with a single rabbit, and adopt a partner bunny at a later time.
"Adopters are welcome to contact any of our chapters at any time, for help in adopting or bonding rabbits," says DeMello. "And there are several internet groups where bonding advice from HRS volunteers is also available, including a group dedicated to this topic only: groups.yahoo.com/group/bunbond/."
The mission of HRS is twofold: to educate the public about these often-misunderstood companion animals, and to help rescue and "re-home" domestic rabbits. HRS advocates spaying and neutering rabbits - both for health reasons and also to help put an end to the animal overpopulation problem.
For more information on Adopt a Rescued Rabbit Month, log onto House Rabbit Society. To find out more about adopting a rabbit, contact your local shelter or your your nearest HRS chapter. For more information on House Rabbit Society's rescue and education work in your area, please call House Rabbit Society at (510) 970-7575.