Residents had the chance to feel all soft and fuzzy when the Missouri House Rabbit Society visited Aberdeen Heights in September and October.
While most might not consider rabbits to be good companions, the House Rabbit Society explained that rabbits make great house pets – and have been domesticated for more than 1,500 years.
“When most people see a rabbit, they think of a cage with a rabbit sitting inside, or a rabbit in a backyard hutch,” said Marjorie Manahan, outreach coordinator for the society. “In truth, rabbits are social animals and thrive in an indoor environment where they are loved, cared for, and where their minds are stimulated daily.”
The organization works to educate the public about these exceptional pets and helps rescue domestic rabbits from kill shelters throughout the United States.
“One of our focus areas is to get them from kill shelters,” Manahan said. “They’ve lost the ability to care for themselves. People don’t realize that, and they let them out. They have a high prey instinct, and they’re scared.”
As part of the program at Aberdeen Heights, the society brought out rabbits for the residents to enjoy. Residents learned what the rabbits like to eat, how to house them, and how to teach them to use a litter box.
“The residents enjoyed hearing about it,” Manahan said. “It was very good for the residents in extended care - they can pet them and really enjoy them. Rabbits have their own personalities. Some are big, some are small, some are like big dogs, and move like lumbering giants. Small are small. They make wonderful pets. They are quiet and you don’t have to walk them.”
To learn more about the House Rabbit Society, visit their website.