Is a rabbit the right pet for you?
If you’re considering bringing a rabbit into your home as a pet, it’s a good idea to learn more about these much misunderstood animals.
Logan Orr, a registered veterinary technician with Loyalist Veterinary Hospital in Belleville, is a full-fledged rabbit champion, determined to help us better understand rabbits and make sure owners and would-be adopters appreciate the care and environment they need to thrive.
And contrary to what people may believe when they see these adorable, furry animals, “They are not starter pets. They are complicated creatures with very specialized digestive systems … It’s a little misleading when you see these super cute rabbits in small pens. They seem so cuddly and people think they can live in small cages.”
Because in the wild, they are prey animals (you can tell that because prey animals usually have eyes on both sides of their head for better surveying the environment for threats, whereas predators often have both eyes looking straight ahead to allow for depth perception to better pursue prey), they can feel threatened when picked up or cuddled.
While they may not like to cuddle, many rabbits enjoy spending time with people. “Winifred (Logan’s first rabbit) would lay on the couch with me. She had lots of personality,” says Logan, but adds that her current rabbit, Henri, is more aloof.
They are quiet and litter trainable. But Logan says rabbits need room – a big pen at least, with the ability to roam around a room or the house on occasion, but with access to a hutch to feel safe.
Logan cautions against mixing rabbits together without doing the proper research on rabbit bonding. While they can bond closely with one another, they often don’t get along and can fight and hurt each other.
To bring more attention to the plight of rabbits locally and across the Country and to provide support to local rabbit owners, Logan started Black Rabbit Rescue Fund. Through the fund, Logan fosters rabbits with specific challenges, posts information and videos on rabbits and their care and responds to queries about care. Black Rabbit Rescue Fund and its supporters also hold fundraising events, like a recent bake sale, which raised $700 for rabbits in care at HSHPE. You can follow Black Rabbit Rescue on Facebook and Instagram @blackrabbitrescue
“They are really fun to watch,” Logan adds. “I couldn’t imagine not having a hoppy bunny around.”