Like most children, Frida and Pip were pretty desperate for a pet. With a small backyard, a dog wasn’t really an option and so we wanted a pet that was small, easy to care for and could spend most of it’s time outside.
At the time, rabbits seemed like a really obvious choice. Small, can live in a hutch, failry low maintenence and super cute. Decsion made.
We contacted a petting zoo we had come across at various events over the past couple of years and asked them if they sold baby rabbits. They did and at $50 each, it was a bargain. We of course had to get two, one for each child and to keep each other company. The beginning was very exciting. The kids were able to choose from a little of bunnies and then we took them home. We ended up with two girls. I wanted two of the same sex to avoid the risk of multiple babies cuaisng chaos.
They were adorable. Tinmy little fluff balls. I had been told that they were mini lop bunnies which was ideal because I wanted them to stay small and managemable. So, the beginning was lovely. Two tiny bunnies in a pretty impressive hutch with a run attached. We were all smitten and the girls named them Spotty and Goldy.
Fast forward several months and the cracks in my genious low maintenence pet plan were starting to appear. The got big. Really big. I am no rabbit expert but these were not mini anything. They had the sugnature floppy ears of a lop but I am guessing the genes were mixed along the way because these rabbits just kept growing.
The next little issue was around the fact that they pooped non stop. They had a litter tray which they used but they also pooped all over the hutch. I had to clean it out every three days. I would often get the dyson out and suck up all the little poo pellets. It was just relentless.
Then, they went through puberty. We opted not to get them desexed as they were both girls and never left our yard so chances of them falling pregnant were slim to none. There was also the little detail that each rabbit would cost around $400 to desex and the recovery was long. I just wasnt willing to do it for two $50 rabbits. So, they got a little agressive….ok a lot agressive. They would fight each other and hated to be held by us. This was fine with me but all kids want to do is cuddle and play with their pets and these rabbits were having none of it. The escaped and ran away all the time.
I was the one at the receiving end of most of the agression, the worst was this mighty scratch on my arm that I still have a scar from almost a year later. I was pretty over them by now. The kept digging under our deck and there were massive holes everywhere. They jumped onto the edge of the trampoline and chewed holes through the net. Then, the day came when they dug a massive hole in our newly laid astro turf. That was it for me. I could forgive the behaviour and destruction if perhaps they were sweet and cuddly or they didnt shit everywhere but these rabbits were giving nothing back.
As I was the one responsible for cleaning and feeding the rabbits and their surroundings. I felt well within my rights to be the one who organised for them to be removed. I feel no guilt over the decsion to rehome the rabbits. I talked to the children about it and explained that the bunnies needed somewhere with a bigger yard and real grass to chew. I ended up surrendering them to the RSPCA for rehoming. As much as I hated them in the end, I still cried as I dropped them off. I do feel bad that we werent able to give them the life they needed. I had no idea how hard it would be to be hionest.
The kids were a little upset, I had softened the blow a little by adopting Ollie the kitten before the bunnies left.
Lesson learned. I now tell every parent I can to avoid rabbits if you are looking for an easy pet. Our cat is 100 times easier and so much sweeter.
We received a call from the RSPCA a few weeks after we surrendered the rabbits to say they had found a new home and were staying together so it ended up well for all involved.