Category Archives: Rabbits

MYPAPER 20090318: Wanted: Good homes for abandoned bunnies

One for the bunnies. Never thought mypaper would actually do an animal-centric feature. Please visit the House Rabbit Society of Singapore (HRSS) here.

20090318-mypaper_rabbit
A LITTLE BUNSHINE: House Rabbit Society of Singapore vice-president Jacelyn Heng with Nozie, which
she adopted. It has a tilted head, which is either because of abuse or an ear infection. (PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN)

MY PAPER
WEDNESDAY
MARCH 18, 2009

Wanted: Good homes for abandoned bunnies

DAWN TAY
dawnt@sph.com.sg

AS MANY as four rabbits are abandoned or given up for adoption by their owners every day.

The House Rabbit Society of Singapore (HRSS) has seen a twofold increase in the numbers of such pets since last year.

By the time they are found, some are covered with abscesses, malnourished and with maggots crawling over their skin.

More than 1,000 rabbits are abandoned or given up by their owners every year, the society told
my paper in a recent interview.

HRSS vice-president Jacelyn Heng said that, contrary to public perception, rabbits are not low-maintenance pets.

“It takes about $70 a month to upkeep them and they can live for 10 years. After being retrenched, some people can’t afford to keep a pet and take the easy way out (by abandoning
them),” she said.

To cope with the numbers, the society is appealing to animal lovers to step forward to take care of the abandoned pets.

Those interested can e-mail HRSS at help@hrss.net These foster owners must be able to commit at least six months to provide time, care and shelter in a cage-free environment, said Ms Heng.

The volunteer-run society does not have a permanent shelter for rabbits. It currently has 65 rabbits fostered out at about 10 foster homes and spends around $1,000 a month putting up 19 rabbits at a pet boarding home.

Many abandoned rabbits are left in their cages or in fields, where they are vulnerable to attacks
by stray dogs and cats.

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals receives around 700 animals each month – more than one per hour every day, said executive officer Deirdre Moss.

Of that number, only 20 per cent have a chance of finding homes, she said.

Ms Heng said: “People think that by releasing them they’re setting them free, but they’re actually killing them. If you can’t take care of them any longer, it’s best to find them another
home.”

RABBIT MISCONCEPTIONS
THEIR docile behaviour makes it easy to mistake rabbits for easy pets to keep.
Here’s a look at some common misconceptions:

Rabbits make low-maintenance pets for children – Rabbits can have a lifespan of 10 years and are not suitable for children as they generally do not like to be cuddled.

Rabbits thrive on pellets and vegetables – The bulk of a rabbit’s diet should consist of hay, not commercially-bought pellets or carrots.

Rabbits should be kept in cages – Rabbits kept in cages, especially those with wire floors, can develop health problems, such as inflamed feet. Keep them in a playpen or allow them to roam freely once they are toilet-trained.