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Dumping Domestic Rabbits

By: Jan Geren

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Yesterday was beautiful here in Shasta Lake. It was a white winter wonderland. As I drove and relished this beauty, I was smitten by the sight of a small domestic rabbit who, during the night met his fate by an oncoming car. The little rabbit looked like our pet house bunny who is so dear to us. He was covered with the white frost that graced the beautiful pines all around. My first thought was another fatality and commodity of easter, discarded and tossed out like the shells of an egg after we crack it. He was no longer a cuddly easter bunny, now he made the mistake of growing up and kicking because he no longer wanted to be cuddled by the children or the family that brought him home to amuse themselves and their children.

This is becoming an all too common occurrence in our throw away society and it is wrong. Domestic rabbits are not wild rabbits and cannot live in freezing temperatures as their descendants, yet so many believe that they can. Imagine being loved for many days and suddenly cast off by the very people who seemed to love you. I imagine he was so cold and perhaps even missed the aggressive and obnoxious pampering that he received while in the humans care. Perhaps a dog or a cat or a fox or a bobcat chased him into his final moment.

Please do not buy easter bunnies for your children at Easter, remember, it is a commitment. To teach our children otherwise is wrong. If you don't want your rabbit (or cat or dog or bird) please do not drop he/she into the wild. They are not wild animals. I can't imagine the thoughts that go through their minds when there is no one there to feed them or pet them anymore.

We need to change the way we do things, we, as humans must evolve. We are the caretakers, not the life takers. Let's strive for more compassion and understanding for our companion animals. If they are not wanted, please contact the county Humane Society or the House Rabbit Society in your area (www.rabbit.org).

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