Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Rabbits prove to be perfect pet

Monash Life (Waverley Leader - 7 August 2007)

MT WAVERLEY resident Karen V would like the public to know rascally rabbits actually make great indoor pets.

Her home is an indoor warren for rabbits rescued from pet shops & animal shelters.

"We got one ourselves, back in 2001, and we didn't know how to look after it. We did a lot of research and found out a lot of information and that you could keep them indoors," Ms V said. But most people cringed at the thought, thinking of the domestic animal's wild cousins, she said.

"They (rabbits) are misunderstood; people think they are good pets for small children because they are small, not like dogs and cats, (and) they think of them as throwaway pets," Ms V said.

"For a mature person they are a great indoor pet. You don't have to walk them, you don't have to register them, they are quite clever, they litter train themselves and are quite clean and cheap to feed."

Proper food and living conditions meant they could live for many years, but people quickly got sick of them, Ms V said.

"Their diet is often so poor they die early," she said.

"They are exposed to the weather if they are outside, they need a couple of metres to jump up and stand up; you wouldn't put a cat or a dog in a box in the backyard, so why would you do that to a rabbit?"

Ms V described the pets as very affectionate - "something in between a cat and a dog".

She and her partner, Nimal K, run a rabbit care advice website, and put out a free monthly rabbit newsletter.