SINGAPORE, 29 March 2011: Anticipating the very real possibility of impulse purchases of rabbits, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) Singapore and the House Rabbit Society, Singapore (HRSS) released a joint statement today urging the public not to give in to any momentary lapse of judgement and buying a pet rabbit.
The statement comes ahead of a new animated comedy entitled 'HOP' (below) which chronicles the fictional tale of the Easter Bunny's teenage son seeking fame as a drummer in Hollywood. The movie is set to be released in theatres here on Friday, in time for the Good Friday and Easter Day holidays in late April.
With the common trend being people getting excited after such endearing depictions of rabbits - which then motivate some to act on impulse and buy a pet rabbit, HRSS President Ms.Jacelyn Heng observes that “rabbits and children are not a good mix as rabbits require plenty of care and maintenance that children cannot be expected to commit to for the duration of the animal’s life.”
The SPCA took in 481 rabbits in 2010 alone - all were either found abandoned or given up. In addition, SPCA investigations of cruelty involving rabbits revealed that they were often left isolated in small cages along corridors with only the basics provided. In extreme cases, however, not even water was available, or the animals were found to be suffering from neglect and malnourishment through inadequate or improper diet.
The SPCA would like to remind the public that cruelty to animals is a crime - including abandonment of one’s pet - and is punishable by law. Anyone who is found guilty can be imprisoned for up to 12 months, fined up to $10,000, or both.
Ms. Deirdre Moss, Executive Director of SPCA says, “It is the prospect of rabbits bought on impulse or as festive gifts that worries the SPCA. People assume rabbits only live for a couple of years, but they have a life span of eight to 12 years which is comparable to cats and some dogs.”
As the HRSS and SPCA are anticipating pet stores here to stock up on rabbits during the Easter season with the objective of attracting more buyers, they would like to ask everyone to consider carefully before deciding to own a pet rabbit and remind that there are plenty of healthy loving rabbits available at the SPCA and HRSS foster homes waiting for the right owner.
The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) Singapore provides various animal welfare services to the community including a 24-hour emergency service, cruelty investigation, a sterilisation voucher programme for strays as well as running an animal shelter for abused and abandoned pets and strays. For more information, visit www.spca.org.sg.
The House Rabbit Society, Singapore (HRSS) runs a fostering programme to rescue and re-home abandoned rabbits and participates in numerous public events to educate the general public about rabbit care and behaviour. For more information, visit www.hrss.net.