Animal Rescuers: abandoned bunnies too common in Tri-Cities
TRI-CITIES, Wash. - Niblet is a white bunny with a pink nose, pink eyes, and unfortunately, some raw, pink paws.
Niblet's old owners dumped him near the animal shelter in Pasco a few weeks ago, and by the time rescuers found him he was in really rough shape.
Courtney Bernay of Little Lives Small Animal Rescue said this sort of thing happens entirely too often,
"In our area there are a lot of dumps and surrenders. People will purchase an animal and [not] realize the extent of the care these animals need."
Darcy Sherman of Tri-Cities Washington Rabbit Advocates also rescues bunnies. She's housing 39 dumped and disregarded rabbits in Kennewick,
"Pretty much all of these rabbits have been dumped somewhere whether its a cemetery, or a park, or an apartment complex or a neighborhood."
They said it's hard to estimate when bunnies are going to show up but the number goes up after the Benton-Franklin Fair when bunnies don't make weight. They also see an increase in Spring,
"After this Easter I probably ended up with another eight rabbits right off the bat."
Sherman and Bernay said bunnies are different from cats and dogs. That's why people get overwhelmed,
"Bunnies are a very misunderstood animal. You can't just go buy a cage at the store."
She said they quickly outgrow small cages. Besides, bunnies need room to frolic and play.
Bernay says another great thing about rabbits is they can be easily taught to use a litter-box,
"Honestly if I didn't have litter-box trained rabbits I probably would have fewer fosters."
Tips like that are important because fosters are what both agencies need as bunnies keep showing up.
Bernay said she wishes people would ask more questions before buying or adopting a small animal they're unfamiliar with. She said people should go online, or even contact she and Darcy with questions. Even if you don't want to foster or adopt.
"We want to make sure the animals in our community are cared for."
Visit Little Lives Small Animal Rescue on Facebook.
Visit Tri-Cities Washington Rabbit Advocates on Facebook.