It’s been one year since I wrote “Take a Walk with Man’s Best Friend at the Animal Shelter.” At the end of the article I mentioned that due to our family travels, having a dog just wasn’t an option. What I didn’t write was my daughter’s idea to adopt rabbits.
Why would anyone want a rabbit? Because they’re cute and cuddly? They don’t need much space or attention? These are the biggest misconceptions of rabbits. And as a result the Geneva animal shelter, or SGPA, has a significant population of rabbits at their facility.
Interaction between rabbits and humans is limited to curiosity; perhaps a nibble at your shoe lace or a sniff of your hand. For the most part, they do not want to be held nor do they enjoy being petted. Furthermore, a small hutch on the balcony or in the corner of one’s garden is not enough.
But let me tell you what you can expect by owning a rabbit since my daughter wore me down last August and we finally adopted two of the cutest rabbits you can imagine.
First, there is the materials investment. My daughter bought a ridiculously expensive two-story hutch, built a large fox, owl and ferret-proof cage and designed a water heating system for cold winter weekends when we were off skiing. As a parent it was great helping her design and build a cage as well search for and create a solution for freezing water.
Then, we went to the SGPA-the Geneva animal shelter- to adopt Snoopy and Daisy. They cost CHF 30 each which included their vaccines and being spayed. You must be 18 or older to adopt an animal, so I am legally responsible for these two rabbits. I also signed an agreement that allows the SGPA to spot check the rabbits’ home at any time.
Now, we have these rabbits in my back yard. Granted they are time consuming. My daughter lets them run in the garden while she surveys them; and the amount of body waste they produce in their cage is impressive. However, those rabbits are fun entertainment. They love grazing, hopping, sprinting and even playing. Did you know that rabbits have a happy jump? They spring up in the air and flip their back feet out to the side.
In the daytime there are crows, hawks and cats that come to visit. The rabbits have learned that they are safe in their cage and will reach up, or follow the other animal around the cage. I am not sure if they are teasing the wild animals or enjoy the company…but as I said these rabbits are great entertainment.
We are a group of international women living in Geneva, Switzerland. If you would like to join the AIWC, please visit our website at http://www.aiwcgeneva.org/.