Rabbits can live as long as dogs and require just as much attention.
This is something that those looking for a pet often don't realize when buying a rabbit, which is why some end up at the SPCA, said Jennifer York, branch manager at the local animal shelter.
"They live a long time and need a lot of care," she said.
Currently, the Maple Ridge branch has three rabbits, Waldo, a single, and a male-female bonded pair, Flower and Velvet.
Rabbits are "incredibly social animals" and can live up to 15 years, York said.
"Owning a domesticated rabbit... is just as much work as a dog," she said.
And if they're not taken care of, they can get angry and frustrated and start biting.
In addition to nail clipping, ear cleaning, and lots of TLC, rabbits should be spayed or neutered because of their ability to breed so rapidly.
There's a reason for the expression "breed like rabbits," York said.
This year the local branch has facilitated the adoption of 15 rabbits, the offspring of just two rabbits.
Rabbits are often the longest staying visitors in BC SPCA shelters throughout the province.
Each year, the BC SPCA receives hundreds of unwanted rabbits that are either surrendered or found stray.
But they are usually not the first choice for pet adoption and end up staying in shelters for longer periods of time than more popular adoption animals such as cats and dogs.
Because rabbits are prey animals who can be nervous about being picked up or held, they are not appropriate pets for small children.
However, they are considered great companions for adults and older children who are able to handle them carefully.
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