A Tsawwassen pet food store owner is pleading to residents to only consider purchasing a plush bunny this Easter, and not the real thing.
Michelle LeMoignan not only happens to run Pets-N-Us on 56th Street, but she is also involved in the Vancouver Rabbit Rescue organization, which is the local chapter of House Rabbit Society. When bunnies are abandoned in local parks or fields, LeMoignan has earned the reputation as the “go to” source on the Facebook community groups Tsawwassen Loop and Ladner’s Landing.
Unfortunately, there always seems to be an uptick of those posts in the weeks and months after Easter when new rabbit owners have become overwhelmed with the attention and care that is required. Rabbits can suffer from boredom and depression if they are kept in cages and need many hours of free-roaming time and mental stimulation every day in a spacious area. They also typically live between eight to 12 years.
“Not only should you not get one impulsively, but they never should be purchased (at a pet store) either,” explained LeMoignan. “They are always available for adoption at an organization like ours or the (Delta Community) animal shelter.
“People don’t realize how rabbits are just as smart as dogs. It’s much more complicated than just locking them up in a little cage and feeding them pellets.”
LeMoignan says with proper training and attention they can roam freely inside a home and even will use a litter box like cats. That’s the case with her rabbits “DJ” and “Piggy” who were rescued by Vancouver Rabbit Rescue as orphaned babies and have been raised by LeMoignan in her home.
She added specific diets also must be taken into consideration. Something as simple as a digestive disorder can be fatal for rabbits within 48 hours.
“Rabbits are incredible animals, but there are many questions to consider and prepare for before bringing a rabbit into the family,” she added.