Woman rescues rabbits from life in the urban jungle

Two rabbits dropped off outside a restaurant to fend for themselves

One of the bunnies found near Lougheed Highway recently.

One of the bunnies found near Lougheed Highway recently.

Don’t buy bunnies as pets.

The thrill of a cute, cuddly pet can wear can quickly turn to boredom, and then lead the owners to abandon them to fate.

That happened recently to two bunnies in the 208th Street area and Lougheed Highway area in west Maple Ridge. Suzy Shea saw the pair when she walking her dog. Someone had left them outside a restaurant with a head of lettuce.

With some effort, Shea was able to catch one of them a few days after she saw them. Then a few days later, she caught the other one.

Once she was able to catch them, she found they were very friendly and obviously domesticated. “They’re lovely.” Fortunately, two friends will take the rabbits.

Shea has some general advice.

“Don’t get bunnies.” Just look at them in the store then walk away, she advises. And don’t dump pets off into the wilds leaving them to fend for themselves.

Maple Ridge SPCA manager Jennifer Stack said the rabbits are harder to adopt out than dogs or cats, which are usually adopted out within a couple of weeks.

“There seems to be rabbit epidemic.” There are currently six rabbits at the SPCA looking for homes and the SPCA has a 50-per-cent discount on the adoption fee, bringing it to $15. Rabbits need to be interacted with continually and are harder to train than dogs or cats, so people should do research before bringing home a bunny, Stack advised.

A rabbit’s life span is between 12 and 15 years.