“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
At Special Bunny, we have dedicated our time, love, and as many resources as we can muster to create happy endings for our bunnies. You are all part of our work, and together we are making a difference. But as we all know, sometimes happy endings come after some very sad beginnings.
Our volunteers have seen and worked tirelessly with some very abused and neglected bunnies, and we’re thrilled when our work pays off and we can find new homes for happy, healthy pets who have a new lease on life. We focus on the positive as much as we can, but we can never forget that animal cruelty still exists in the world, and that every one of us can and should play a part in rescuing animals in desperate need of help.
What constitutes cruelty?
Animal cruelty includes neglect and/or intentional cruelty.
Neglect is the failure to provide an animal with the most basic of requirements of food, water, shelter and veterinary care. It may be due to ignorance on the animal owner’s part and is usually handled by requiring the owner to correct the situation. If the problem is not corrected, the animal may be removed from the neglectful person by law enforcement authorities.
Intentional cruelty is often more shocking than neglect and is frequently an indicator of a serious human behavior problem. Intentional cruelty is when an individual purposely inflicts physical harm or injury on an animal. Someone who is violent towards animals may be violent towards family members or others. There is no such thing as harmless violence. If a loved one is hurting your animals, they may have a serious problem and require help.
What can I do to help?
Always be on the lookout for animals suffering from neglect or intentional cruelty, and know that there are some things you can do to help.
Abuse Warning Signs:
- Abandonment or lack of concern about the welfare of the animal
- Wounds, such as cigarette burns, cuts, choking marks, or signs of torture or attack.
- Parasites, like fleas, ticks, and mites
- Lack of medical care
- Not enough food or not enough water
- Fear of people, especially fear of one family member in particular.
- Inadequate housing that does not provide shelter from the weather or is unsanitary.
How You Can Help:
- Report abuse: Call your local humane organization or the police.
- Educate: Teaching future generations to respect animal life will make our society more humane. You can also provide animal care books and information if you suspect that neglect is due to ignorance.
- Adopt from shelters: If you want to adopt a pet, go to your local shelter first. To search the Internet for animals available for adoption, visit www.petfinder.com.
- Care for your own animals: If you own a pet, be responsible and provide it with annual veterinary check-ups and preventative medical care; spay or neuter to reduce pet overpopulation and urge your friends to do the same.
- Support your local animal rescue organization or shelter with donations of money, food, volunteer efforts, or supplies: Volunteering your time or fostering a shelter animal is a good way to make a difference. Fostering helps socialize abused or frightened animals before they are adopted.
The ASPCA has created an excellent Animal Cruelty FAQ. It includes detailed information about cruelty laws, teaching children to respect animals, reporting cruelty, and a host of other topics.
Remember, always be a “bun-bassador!”
Being a bun-bassador means speaking up for the bunnies. The best thing you can do is tell all your friends and colleagues to tell their friends and colleagues some basic things about house rabbits:
- Rabbits are not toys and they are not a ‘good way to teach my child responsibility.’ Kids tend to lose interest very quickly, and rabbits need adult attention and care to live happy, healthy lives.
- Rabbits are like ‘cats in rabbit suits.’ They are smart, interactive, maintenance-required pets that live nearly as long as cats. Like cats, rabbits can be litter trained! Unlike most cats, rabbits can be trained to do many tricks! There are even agility contests for bunnies. These are not animals that you can buy and forget about.