Rescue Tail – Marathon Campus
When rabbits started to become household pets, the pet industry sold the idea of the pocket pet as a simple, small mammal that only needed a little cage. They were billed as a starter pet instead of a supposedly much needier cat or dog. Some pellets and a water bottle would suffice. Families around the Country purchased rabbits (especially during the holiday season), guinea pigs and other pocket pets from pet stores as a low maintenance companion. This is how some people still view rabbits; as something to be contained to a cage, given a pet or two and fed a carrot. With the evolution of animal and pet welfare, we have learned so much more about our animal friends and our thought process regarding their needs have radically changed.
Rabbits are intelligent, social creatures. They require a special diet, daily interaction, as well as mental and physical stimulation to be properly cared for. Although rabbits surely can be wonderful family companions option in lieu of the more common dog or cat seen in most American households, they do have specific needs…just like any other living creature. When we meet adopters like Mimi, who are dedicated to the animals they share their home and heart with, we can’t help but share how extraordinary the human-animal bond can truly be.
Pepper was your typical shelter rabbit story. He was an adorable white bunny freckled with black spots. At a young age when his owners moved, they simply left him in his cage behind. A neighbor noticed the rabbit sitting confined outside the abandoned property, scooped him up and surrendered him to our Marathon Campus in hopes he would find a new family to adopt him. Despite a rough start to life, he was full of personality! Pepper was gentle, friendly, social and wildly playful. On top of it all, he was adorable too. Mimi was searching for a rabbit to join her household, and hoped an adopted bunny would bond with her beloved Guinea Pig.
Of course, it was love at first sight when Mimi met Pepper. It was truly impossible to not be enamored by him. She was beyond enthusiastic about bringing him home, and was determined to give him the best life she possibly could. Pepper, later renamed Benito, was brought home in a carrier into a cage-free environment. Benito would have the run of the house, and assimilated into a normal household life. He had a litter box to use, toys to play with, and soon was being harness trained to walk on a leash. Benito loved being an integrated part of the family, and he quickly decided that like any domesticated animal, he would learn his new routine, and even a few tricks.
In addition to being harnessed and leash trained, Benito has learned the commands “come” and “spin” too. His little spin is the most fantastic bunny twirl you’ve ever seen. He happily hops along freely throughout the entire house, except when it’s time to go for walks. He is best friends with his Guinea Pig roommate and adores his mom. Benito may not have been the luckiest rabbit at first, but he is most certainly the happiest, luckiest rabbit surrounded by the love of his owner now.
Rabbits are the third most common companion animal found in shelters. Currently we have 16 (yes, you read that correctly) rabbits available for adoption between our Key West and Marathon Campuses. Learn more about rabbits by contacting our Key West Campus at 305-294-4857 or visit either location to meet our adoptable bunnies.