Marina Hebert is a volunteer with the Aldergrove-based Small Animal Rescue Society. This is a picture of one of her bunnies, Ana. (Christopher Orr photo)

Aldergrove animal lovers fears influx of bunnies following Peter Rabbit debut

Pets are not products, and those adopting should expect a 10-year plus commitment.

In light of this past Thursday’s release of the movie, Peter Rabbit, an Aldergrove-based animal rescue organization is pleading with consumers to refrain from impulsively buying rabbits as pets.

The release of films featuring cute animals typically results in a spike in pet sales, which in turn, results in volunteer-run, non-profit rescues being inundated with requests to take unwanted animals once consumers discover how much work they are, said Lisa Hutcheon, president of Small Animal Rescue Society of B.C. (SARS BC).

“For dedicated guardians, having a pet rabbit is a rewarding experience,” Hutcheon admitted.

“But too often, we see the other side of rabbit guardianship. They are dumped in parks and left to fend for themselves, soon falling victim to injury, disease, starvation and predators. For hundreds of these former pets, death is a slow, painful certainty,” she elaborated.

This has been seen with the release of such films as Snow Dogs, Snow Buddies, Legally Blonde and 101 Dalmatians, Hutcheon pointed out.

“This release poses an extra threat as it coincides with Easter, typically a terrible time for rabbits and rabbit rescues,” she predicted.

.

Adoption means in for the long haul

A cage is not enough.

Rabbits are high maintenance pets that require specialized vet care and daily exercise.

Their indoor enclosures and litter boxes need to be cleaned regularly.

Their survival depends on being fed a specific diet and having their eating and elimination habits closely monitored.

“They are ground loving prey animals that do not appreciate to be cuddled and carried around,” Hutcheon said, offering some insight into what some simply see as cute little cuddly bunnies.

“In addition, rabbits can live up to 10-12 years…..not the one or two years most people think.”

Most rescue groups – which are typically volunteer run and dependent on private donations – are at their limits taking care of abandoned rabbits and victims of cruelty and neglect.

The wait times for owner surrenders are long, and one will most likely not be able to find immediate placement for a rabbit should one decide to give it up.

Releasing a rabbit into the wild is not an option. It is illegal and will result in the rabbit’s death,” Hutcheon said.

“Please enjoy the Peter Rabbit movie and if you feel the urge to add a rabbit to your family, cons for your lifestyle,” she said.

“Rabbits are often a poor choice for children. Otherwise, a stuffed bunny is a great choice.”

.

No other group takes small animals

The Small Animal Rescue Society of BC is a registered charity with the primary focus to rescue and re-home small animals in need – neglected, injured, and abandoned animals are their main priority.

Langley has no where to take small animals,” Hutcheon said.

“If this movie ends creating a surplus of unwanted pet rabbits, then we are in big, big trouble and lots of animals may end up neglected or dead,” she concluded.

SARS works with a number of small animals such as rabbits, guinea pigs, rats, mice, hamsters, gerbils, degus, chinchillas, hedgehogs, reptiles, birds, ferrets, cats, and dogs – and encourages people not to breed or buy while homeless pets are dying.

SARS does not have a public shelter, but posts animals for adoption online.

“Basically, SARS BC is a province-wide network of foster homes, volunteers with experience in caring for small animals and who take in animals and rehabilitate them until they are ready for adoption,” added volunteer Marina Hebert.

More information about the group, its need for funding, and what animals are available for adoption can be found online at: www.smallanimalrescue.org.

_________________________________

Is there more to this story?

rhooper@langleyadvance.com

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter

_________________________________

 

SARS volunteer Marina Hebert with her bunny, Myrtle. (Rebecca Blisset photo)

Just Posted

Wildlife centre operator concerned about leg-hold traps

Elizabeth Melnick of Abbotsford says contraptions are injuring innocent animals

SLIDESHOW: Saints hammer ’Cats

Photos of high school rugby action between Brookswood and Langley

The Circus is coming to Aldergrove

Great Benjamins Circus is coming to thrill fans of high-wire derring-do in Aldergrove in May

Actor hits playhouse tonight, in honour of her sister

Langley’s Elyse Ritchie may be an administrator by day, but by night she loves being on stage.

Langley events paying homage to planet

Earth Day celebrations come in many forms in both Langley City and the Township.

Could facial scans and fingerprints make you unhackable?

New biometrics capabilities could be a game-changer for those trying to get on your accounts

Cars lined up around the block as gas hits 109.9 in B.C. city

The gas wars continue in Vernon, B.C. with prices as low as $109.9 in North Okanagan

Trudeau ends 3-country tour with global reputation, alliances intact

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau finds footing on the world stage after China and India controversies

Province’s $6.5M will help women escape violence, Public Safety Minister announces

Mike Farnworth made the funding announcement in Surrey Friday morning

Trial for gangland slaying of Jonathan Bacon takes a turn

Charges for three men charged in the 2011 murder of B.C. gangster Jonathan Bacon have changed

Leafs’ Matthews has top-selling jersey, edging Crosby, McDavid: NHL

Austin Matthews jersey sales top Pittsburgh Penguins’ Sidney Crosby, Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid

West Vancouver police hunt for Grinder scam artist

Christian Michael Lee Richardson charged with fraud in relation to scam involving the dating app

Victims grant may miss needy parents due to eligibility rules: report

Only 29 of 50 applicants between 2013 and 2017 received the grant across Canada, a federal report says

Woman sends support bags to cancer patients across province

Chilliwack woman’s efforts inspired by late mother-in-law’s generous spirit

Most Read