The Complete Rabbit Care Guide
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"Discover Everything You Need To Know About Your Pet Rabbit!"
by Andrea Austin
There are some significant downsides to purchasing in a pet store, many of which make animal shelters a much more attractive option for many potential pet owners. While there are some excellent pet stores, some of them are a disgrace, subjecting animals to awful conditions. Rabbits in these objectionable pet stores have generally been weaned early so that the owner can sell them off quickly; they are also usually crowded into small cages, fed low-quality food, and not given adequate medical care.
If this scares you, consider visiting an animal shelter and adopting a bunny or an older rabbit. Rescue organizations do not sell animals breed purely for profit; no one at your local shelter is trying to make a quick buck. They care about the animals, and they genuinely want to give them all good homes and proper care.
If you want a pet rabbit for companionship, rather than for breeding or showing, consider bringing home an animal who has been abandoned or rescued. These rabbits have generally been given good medical care, at least after being brought to the shelter. The rescue organization is almost always responsible for providing necessary treatment and vaccinations, so that the animal you bring home for a shelter is probably in better shape than many of the bunnies available at pet stores.
Moreover, while young bunnies in pet stores may be hyperactive, aggressive, nervous and scared, rabbits in shelters are often better able to handle stress and have temperaments better suited to pet owners.
If you are interested in adopting a rabbit from a shelter, look in your phonebook or go online to find your local organization. You may be asked some background questions; this is normal, and is meant to ensure that you and the animal in question will be a good match, and that you have the resources to care for the animal properly.
One great place to start, if you want to adopt, is the House Rabbit Resource Network. You can find it online at http://rabbitresource.org/adp_how.html. At their website you will find all sorts of great information about how to adopt, including an adoption application, as well as about rabbit care in general. Be aware that this and many other adoption organizations do charge a fee to cover medical expenses, and to prevent unscrupulous people for taking the rabbits for immoral purposes.
Another wonderful organization is the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, better known as the ASPCA. At their website (http://aspca.org/) you will find tons of information about all sorts of loveable creatures just waiting for a compassionate new owner to take them home.
If you do not want to adopt a rabbit but are wary of buying from a pet store, you may wish to consider visiting a local breeder. This is an especially wise decision if you yourself are planning to breed rabbits later on or if you want to show your rabbit in competition. Private, show rabbit, or hobbyist breeders generally devote lots of energy toward ensuring that their animals are the healthiest, most beautiful specimens possible. They try to produce rabbits who are even-tempered and vibrant, which makes them an attractive option for any would-be rabbit owner.
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