Celebration 2009This year in honor of Rabbit Love + Appreciation Day, we held a contest and asked people to tell us what they love about their bunnies. Find out who won and read all the wonderful tributes here.
About This Special DayIf you are a rabbit parent, chances are good that EVERY day is rabbit love and appreciation day in your home. Without a doubt, it is here in ours. Haiku and all the dear bunnies we’ve had the pleasure to share our home with have been most special friends, and treasured members of our family. Their trust, company and friendship have been true gifts in our lives.
So, what is this official proclamation all about? It is about raising awareness to make the world a better place for companion rabbits. It is about encouraging rabbit parents everywhere to do their small part to spread the word about responsible rabbit guardianship, to let others know how intelligent and affectionate rabbits can be, and to remind everyone that they CAN make a difference for the better, which will ultimately help to reduce the number of rabbits surrendered to shelters.
How Did It Begin?
When we first envisioned our bunny cottage and founded 24 Carrot Lane in 2005, we mainly felt that we’d like to see more toys and nice items available for rabbits. Our mission has evolved as we've come to see firsthand how many misconceptions still exist about rabbits.
So many well-intentioned people we talk with have made comments like “We used to have a rabbit and it was really mean!” They then typically continue to say that the rabbit had never been spayed or neutered, and stayed in it’s cage or hutch in the backyard the majority of the time. Some describe the rabbit as having been “…sort of poked at and bothered by the kids.” Then there are the kind folks who are flabbergasted by the news that a rabbit can actually live indoors and learn to use a litterbox. “NO WAY!” they say.
After hearing so many stories with similar themes, which many times end sadly with the rabbit either being given away, brought to an animal shelter, or let loose in parks or woods, we’ve come to realize how very important – imperative, really - it is for us to do our part to dispel myths and misconceptions, and to educate people as much as possible, in a genuine and friendly way, about responsible rabbit guardianship, so on August 24th 2007 we officially proclaimed the first annual Worldwide Rabbit Love + Appreciation Day.
What Can You Do To Help?
You might think, “But, I’m just one person in this big wide world… how can I possibly make any kind of significant difference?” If all of us who love rabbits, in all our little corners of the world do even one small, simple thing, make one kind gesture, speak up and say something that might save even one bunny from being surrendered to a shelter, imagine how it will all add up!
One of our favorite quotes is by well-known peace advocate Archbishop Desmond Tutu:
“Do your little bit of good
where you are.
It’s those little bits of good put together
that overwhelm the world.”
So, on August 24th each year, we encourage you to do your little bit of good where you are, in honor of rabbits everywhere. Whether it is making a donation of funds, time, or supplies to a rabbit organization, or simply telling a friend or co-worker something like, “Did you know that rabbits can live in the house and learn to use a litter box?” Truly, over time every little bit will help!
Become a member of, or send a donation to, your favorite rabbit organization. No matter how large or small the donation, it all helps, and will be forever appreciated by the bunnies!
You can also donate supplies like toys, food, cages and other items. Check with individual organizations to find out specifically what they can use. Here are links to House Rabbit Society chapters, allies, and independent rescue groups. No doubt there is one located near you.
Volunteer or foster a rabbit for one of the above listed organizations. Most organizations will welcome you as a volunteer on a regular basis, or as your schedule permits.
Write a letter to a restaurant where you know that rabbit is on the menu and tell them politely that you will not be dining there, and why you feel they should not be serving it.
Write a letter to a clothing company that uses rabbit fur in their designs, or to a store that sells items featuring rabbit fur, and ask them to stop.
Encourage and request pet shops to hold rabbit adoption days to help find forever homes for deserving bunnies.
Learn something new about rabbit care, health, or behavior. Even though I have been a rabbit parent for 15 years now, I learn new things on an ongoing basis. Visit our links page for some excellent resources.
If you know someone considering bringing a rabbit into their life, advise them to learn about rabbits first. Let them know that a rabbit is a 10+ year commitment. Encourage them to visit www.rabbit.org to learn what is really involved in being a good and responsible rabbit guardian, so that they will be sure a rabbit will be compatible with their household.
During Eastertime, write an editorial or letter to the editor of your local newspaper to encourage people not to give rabbits as Easter presents as part of the Make Mine Chocolate campaign. You can illustrate some of the common misconceptions about rabbits, the fact that they are not "starter pets," and the many things that people should consider before bringing a rabbit into their home.
Let elementary school teachers know that having a “classroom bunny” is not a good idea. Rabbit advocate and celebrated author Marie Mead has written an excellent article on this subject, which you are welcome to print out for distribution.
If you have a child in school, write an article for the school’s newsletter, or post to the school’s e-newsgroup if they have one. Since so many rabbits are brought into homes as a result of children begging their parents for a bunny, a good title or subject line might be “Is Your Child Asking for a Bunny?” You can proceed to outline the facts of what is truly involved in creating an appropriate home for, and a good and mutually enriching relationship with a rabbit. Again, be sure to advise them to visit www.rabbit.org for more detailed information.
Take some time each day to hug your bunnies and tell them how much you love them. (one of our own personal favorites!)
Kudos to June Booth, Rabbit Advocate and House Rabbit Society licensed Educator for the Louisiana SPCA in New Orleans. June put her creativity to work and incorporated our Rabbit Love + Appreciation Day graphic along with her own text to create posters she is putting up at veterinarians' offices in her area who work to help rescued rabbits. She kindly informs us that anyone who wishes to print them out and post at their own veterinarian's office (or any other appropriate spot) is welcome to do so.
What other kinds of things can we do for the good of rabbits? Let's use our collective intelligence. Tell us your ideas and we’ll add them to the list for future celebrations of this special day.