Pet specialists caution those considering buying rabbits
With the Easter holiday next weekend, an organization that protects rabbits said animal shelters will be full in the next few months with impulse buys that turn into unwanted pets.
"Kids want a rabbit, and (families) don't know what they're getting into," said Alyssa O'Toole, co-founder of Rabbit Wranglers, a group of volunteers who help abused, neglected and abandoned rabbits. About 30 members of the group shelter rabbits.
O'Toole and another volunteer Saturday brought three rabbits to the annual Easter Egg hunt and related activities at Angora Gardens in White Oak. Hundreds turned out there for an Easter Egg hunt, face painting, flower sales and other activities. The facility is a working farm that offers work opportunities for people with mental and physical disabilities.
Children wearing cardboard rabbit ears laughed as they tried to pet a 2-year-old black and white checkered giant rabbit named Atticus, who had no problem quickly backing his 12-pound frame away from outstretched hands.
"Wow, he's big!" one man said, as owner Suaz Forsythe, 50, of Lawrenceville tried to calm him. She added that she adopted Atticus after he was found abandoned on a road in the North Hills.
"People don't realize that dropping a domestic rabbit outside is giving them a death sentence," Forsythe said.
O'Toole said there's a lot that people don't know about rabbits, including that they can be house trained, and even trained to recognize their names and do some tricks on command.
"They can be a little bit more high-maintenance than a dog or a cat," O'Toole said, "but they do make great pets."
Tara Hineman, 32, of Ambridge, Beaver County, said that she grew up with rabbits as pets. Her five children don't have one now, but once the family moves to another house, she said that's a possibility.
"I wouldn't have a problem with that. I liked having rabbits," Hineman said.
For additional information about the organization, go to www.rabbitwranglers.org .
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.