I sent this around to my Facebook friends, but I thought I'd repost here for others to pass on if they'd like.
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If you've heard my Bunnies are the third most common pet in N. America and the most misunderstood speech before, skip to the end. :)
Animals lovers, I contact you today in hopes of spreading a little education and gaining your help in stopping some ignorance. Whether you have cats, dogs, turtles, birds, a pig in the barn.. I think all of you know that uncontrolled breeding is a *BAD THING!* A female rabbit can put out a litter of 6 - 8 kits every thirty two days. ("Can't add or subtract, but boy, can they multiply!")
Bunnies need room for exercise and play, just like cats and dogs. They're active around dawn and dusk, or if their human is one of those day slaves, typically as you're trying to get ready for work ("Pet me!") and then ignore you for a couple hours when you come home from work. ("Do you have dandelions? Meh. I'll continue my nap.") Rabbits are litterbox trainable. They're very curious and hyperactive little demons.. er, I mean darlings. They like to chew, dig, play, dance, and some have a vocabulary for communicating with their pet humans.
Commonly rabbits get advertised by breeders and pet stores as "starter pets" or "quiet, low maintenance animals, like hamsters." Unfortunately, it's not true. They may seem boring in the classroom, but imagine a cat stuck in that cage all day, with kids poking and yelling.. and worse yet, imagine if that cat was a prey animal! Far from their ideal home! They're also expensive to take care of when they get sick. They have delicate bones and digestive systems and they can't have penicillan. (Amongst other little quirks.)
It's Easter time once more. The tragedy of Easter is that so many people buy a rabbit on a whim and then as soon as said rabbit hits puberty - instead of getting it in to be fixed (and solving a lot of those, ah, overly social, activities) they just dump them out in the wild. The only thing bunnies can do in the wild is be eaten. The average life span of a bunny out in the wild is about a week, the poor things have *zero* survival instincts! The "nicer" dump the bunny off at the already overfull shelters and rescues, where if the bunny is lucky, it isn't euthanised within a couple weeks.
What this lecture is leading up to (are you at the top back with me now?) .. There's a mall in Edmonton, AB that is hosting a rabbit show for Easter. They will be handing out information from breeders on where you can buy your very own cute little pet bunny. And let's face it, breeders, for the most part, need to make money. Yes, there's responsible breeders like my friend Lena (*waves*) but unfortunately, their furchildren get outnumbered very quickly by the puppy mills, the bunny mills, the kitty cat mills all too quickly.
So please, if you have time, write a letter of protest to the Bonnie Doone Shopping Centre at : email@example.com .. Anything from a nice long lecture (You know I typed up one of those!) to a "Please research rabbit care at http://www.rabbit.org before you encourage their sale to the general public."
For more information on the joys of bunnies and easters, feel free to visit http://www.makeminechocolate.org/