Domesticated rabbits kept as pets
Domesticated rabbits fall beneath the Animal Protection Act - The SPCA is governed within that act, but rabbits that are running at large, abandoned or loose are not caught or trapped by the SPCA.
For domesticated rabbits who have next to no real legislation or protection, being abandoned is a very real and scary reality.
We estimate the numbers of rabbits that have been “set lose” or “free” estimate well into a thousands.
We are aware of large groups or colonies of domesticated rabbits that we are unable to trap and help as they are on private property. Unless we have permission from the owner, we are unable to assist them or we would be trespassing.
There are no fines, or any repercussions to dumping these rabbits. No real deterrent to dumping them when they are no longer cute or cuddly, become destructive or a child loses interest in them.
The fate of domesticated rabbits that are dumped is extremely grim.
Rabbits fall through the cracks in the current protection / cruelty laws
The NEED to have an enforceable law that would see them protected similar to the ways dogs and cats are legislated is of the utmost importance
We were informed by the Agriculture Minister that the SPCA is mandated to take care of abandoned domesticated animals.
We brought to light how this has not been the case with rabbits, and when we direct people who contact us to contact the SPCA, they are told they do not pick them up.
As far as animal control goes - they do not pick up domestic rabbits either, as they state they only deal with cats and dogs.
So here WE are. We supply traps, instruction and often times manpower to come and help trap and catch the abandoned rabbits that we are alerted to.
How are domestic rabbits any different than a Guinea Pig or parrot being abandoned outside? They are not equipped to deal with the hazards of being outside - they fall victim to predation, hit by vehicles, chased by dogs and humans. Outside is a very dangerous place.
Domestic rabbits who are not altered are able to produce almost constantly making the numbers grow rapidly and the issue compound quickly.
We are at a crisis level with the numbers of abandoned rabbits here in Nova Scotia and the numbers are growing each month! We need to take action on this growing issue for rabbits.
The NEED to have an enforceable law that would see them protected similar to the ways dogs and cats are legislated.
Why are they chosen to be abused so widely in so many facets? They are tested on for cosmetics, farmed for their flesh and fur, abandoned and dumped on a daily basis. Are they that unworthy of protection?
Why spay / neuter surgeries are so important for rabbits
We spay and neuter every rabbit that comes into our care. There are many reasons for this. The first (and most obvious) is to control the population. A rabbit’s gestation period is 28-30 days and a female rabbit can get pregnant the day she delivers her kits (babies).
One of the most important reasons is that by age two, 85% - 90% of rabbits will develop reproductive cancer. It is normally very far along before it is found and almost certainly a death sentence.
In 4 years,
2 intact rabbits (and all their kits)
can produce almost
4 Million MORE rabbits!!
Having rabbits altered also helps with behavior once they hit puberty and into their adult lives. A spay with a rabbit-savvy veterinarian costs around $370.00+ and a neuter costs around $225.00+.