Domestic rabbits do not fare well when set loose in wild or urban areas. Unlike wild jackrabbits (hares) or cottontail rabbits that are commonly found in the Moab area, domestic rabbits are not adapted to canyon country. Nor are they well-suited to street life.
They depend upon humans for shelter and proper dietary sustenance. Abandoned domestic rabbits lack primal skills needed to evade predation, to find adequate shelter, and to obtain nourishing food to keep them healthy enough to fight off disease and illness.
Rabbits are prey animals and are extremely prolific. Pregnant females have a gestation period of 28 to 31 days – which means they can breed up to 11 times a year. A single female can have one to 14 babies per litter and can be impregnated again within minutes of giving birth. The math is scary!
Failure to spay or neuter your domestic rabbit (or any pet for that matter) is negligent and irresponsible. If you can’t afford to spay or neuter your rabbits or to provide veterinary care for them, please consider whether you can afford to have a pet in the first place. And abandoning them altogether because you cannot afford them or because you or your children have lost interest in them is cruel and places the burden of responsibility on others in the community.
It’s no secret that I am an animal lover. I have spent my whole life in the company of companion animals. I take great satisfaction in the daily care, comfort, and sustenance I provide for my two cats, two rabbits, and one tarantula, with whom my husband and I share our home. So it is with the utmost concern that I send out this plea. Take responsibility for your pets by providing safe and secure housing, veterinary health care when they are sick or injured, and most importantly – by spaying or neutering them.