These colonies are made up of abandoned
domesticated European rabbits - former pets! They are rabbits that pet
owners have abandoned to fend for themselves in the outdoors or on the streets.
The problem exists from time to time in many areas of the United States. When
the rabbits become a public nuisance and efforts are made to "eradicate the
problem" if rescuers are not called in to help.
Do not let your rabbit run “free” outdoors without supervision. It is true
domesticated rabbits can survive outdoors if they are near a structure and
can dig several safe places to hide, but at some point their luck will run
out. They can make it through a few seasons and then a predator will catch
them or they will die slowly from disease. A rabbit can live 10 years in a
house with daily exercise time out of a cage. Once a rabbit is fixed they
are easily litter boxed trained and adjust to life in a house very well.
One day your outdoor rabbit won’t appear and chances are it died a brutal
death from a stray dog or cat (or other wild animal) or finally succumbed to
Printable PDF Flyers of this web page free to download:
A Dozen Wild
Reasons - Color
A Dozen Wild Reasons
- Black & White
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Rabbits in the News
Never Abandon a Rabbit Outdoors
It is Not Natural
domesticated pet rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus), is not native to the Americas
and the environment is foreign to them. Find a rabbit rescue group or a humane
society where you can take your rabbit instead of turning it loose outdoors. The
rabbit will have a much better chance of finding a good home.
Cars & Trucks
pet rabbit has never had to dodge cars or navigate streets. They easily become
"road kill" for unsuspecting motorists.
Bunnies pick-up fleas, mites, fly maggots, and other parasites they are not
exposed to as pets. Plus, wild rabbits are carriers of diseases that can kill
Domesticated rabbits are descendants of European Rabbits. They are only distant
cousins to Sylvilagus floridanus, the Eastern Cottontail in America. While all
45 breeds of domestic rabbits can interbreed, they cannot breed with cottontail
rabbits or hares. The embryos will not survive. Cottontail rabbits will also
fight pet feral rabbits with sometimes fatal results.
local neighborhood cats and dogs can be lethal to a defenseless bunny left loose
outside. These rabbits do not know the territory and do not have escape routes
in case they are chased. They won't have time to dig a warren. Abandoned
bunnies will not stray far from where they were left to fend for themselves.
All rabbits are prey for predators. Consider that a cottontail rabbit who knows
his territory has an average lifespan of six months.
Rabbits that have had regular feedings and water given to them do not know what
to eat. They do not know which plants are poisonous.
Areas already used as dumping grounds for pet rabbits are not a haven. A recent
arrival to a feral rabbit colony will have to fight for territory and can be
maimed or killed. An unsprayed female rabbit can produce a litter of babies
every 31 days adding to the problem. A city park full of rabbits is not an
idyllic place for a former pet.
& Bears, Foxes, Weasels, Wolverines, Bobcats, Owls, Mink, Hawks, Lynxes, Wolves
. . .
the bunny to a humane society. If your
humane society can't take your rabbit, they may know
a rabbit rescue group.
Do contact a rabbit rescue group -
chapters on the web -
they also list independent rescue groups
Do find a No Kill Shelter. There
are many "no kill" shelters in medium to larger
the rabbit a new home with an animal lover you know
an ad in the newspaper (skip craigslist.org) for your rabbit.
advertise a free pet so your rabbit does no't end up as
the rabbit neutered or spayed, a big cage, lots of
attention and a second chance.
Do Not Turn the Rabbit Over to a
write me saying rabbits are dumped outside their
not give the rabbit to a school as a classroom pet. The
rabbits at schools end up in shelters because
teachers can't care for them.
Do put up a flyer at a vet office if they will let
Rabbits in the News
If a link does not work, it means
the newspaper has moved the story or taken it offline. I will be updating
periodically so hopefully all links are in working order.
Hatred of Feral Rabbits Becomes Gory - Valdez, AK
Bunnies Bug Anchorage Neighborhood Gardens -
Makes Like Fudd, Declares War Against Rascally Feral Rabbits, Victoria, BC,
Helsinki's feral rabbit cull claims