Pet of the Week: Rascal, the friendly rabbit

Suzy Daley, adoption manager at the Humane Society of Warren County, is shown with Rascal the rabbit. Kevin Green/Daily

With Easter weekend on the horizon, adopting a rabbit might seem like a good time to add it to your family. Suzy Daley, adoption manager at the Humane Society of Warren County, said that’s the case with “lots of residents” this time of year.

At the moment, the shelter has a 5-month-old American rabbit named Rascal up for adoption. Rascal arrived at the shelter along with a female rabbit on Feb. 16.

Daley explained that Rascal was donated to the shelter because “the owner just said they did not have time for him anymore.”

Situations like this, Daley said, are common occurrences with rabbit owners.

“Lots of times, people seem to get rabbits because they’re cute and they want them for their kids and they don’t realize that they’re a long commitment,” Daley said. “They do live to be about 10 years old.”

At 5 months, Daley noted that Rascal is pretty much fully matured and grown and really will not require too much — if any — real training. Although, Daley also mentioned that some owners will “leash and litter” train rabbits.

“Their cages need to be cleaned … you also need to feed and water them every day,” Daley said, noting that “cleaning the cage” requires replacing the bedding “every few days.”

While this can be very time-consuming, Daley said, “They need socialization, too, because if you just keep them in the cage all of the time, they’re not going to be social animals.

“A lot of rabbits enjoy time out of the cage, just walking around the house and being held.”

“The friendliest [rabbits] we have that come in are the ones where the owners generally do let it out every day,” Daley added.

Marie Anderson, kennel attendant for the shelter, said Rascal, unlike some types of rabbits, likes being held. “He’s pretty social. When you walk in he’ll hop up to the kennel to say “hi” to you.”

Daley added, “I don’t think that we get too many extra adoptions this time of year. I think a lot of people go to Petco and places like that for their rabbits.”

Anderson noted that the shelter usually receives “about 20 rabbits or so” throughout the year.

Contact staff writer Kevin Green at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or kgreen@nvdaily.com