An influx of rabbits has local shelters ‘hopping’ for adopters!

NORFOLK, Va. – The local sheltering community is experiencing a concerning increase in the number of stray and unwanted rabbits.

Kimberly Sherlaw, Executive Director of the Norfolk SPCA, believes educating the public and prospective adopters on the joys and responsibilities of adopting a rabbit will encourage families to consider this often overlooked pet.

Rabbits are intelligent animals, which require the same love and commitment of a dog or a cat,” says Sherlaw. Their average life expectancy is 8-10 years. Families looking to adopt a rabbit should be prepared to make that commitment. It is heartbreaking when rabbits are purchased on an impulse and then left isolated in hutches and cages. With plenty of socialization, companionship, behavior and environmental enrichment, rabbits thrive and can be trained to use a litterbox, play, and interact with people and other pets.  “Do your research and understand bunny breeds, behavior, housing, and dietary requirements,” recommends Sherlaw. “I give my rabbits hay and fresh fruits and veggies daily. Their favorite treat is a slice of banana.”

Sherlaw encourages adopters to visit their local shelters and help make the difference in the life of a homeless rabbit or perhaps even two. Over 60 different rabbit breeds exist worldwide!

When visiting local shelters, you will find all types of bunnies. Sherlaw advises, “Shelters are the best place when looking for a rabbit, never purchase from a pet store or backyard breeder.”  The Norfolk SPCA currently has five bunnies available for adoption, and their shelter partner the Norfolk Animal Care Center has more than ten.

All rabbits available for adoption at the Norfolk SPCA, 916 Ballentine Boulevard and the Norfolk Animal Care Center, 5585 Sabre Rd. are spayed and neutered. Check frequently for adoption specials. The Norfolk SPCA Adoption Center is open every day but Tuesday from 1 p.m. – 6 p.m. Visit their website and Facebook page for more information.

The Norfolk SPCA, established in 1892, is a historic animal welfare institution. Today it serves as an active urban shelter with adoption programs and two low-cost veterinary clinics serving Norfolk residents and the greater Hampton Roads region. The Norfolk SPCA is not an affiliate of the ASPCA.

For more information about this topic, contact Kimberly Sherlaw, Executive Director at (757)-622-3319, ext. 123 or click here.

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