Write Your Lawmakers to Protect Rabbits on Long Island

August 17, 2016 at 10:14 pm | Posted in rabbit | Leave a comment
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 Piper & Charlie are writing their letters!

Piper & Charlie are writing their letters!

My local rabbit rescue group is attempting to get legislation passed to protect domestic rabbits and ban the sale of rabbits in pet stores on Long Island. I’m sending letters to all my local, state and federal representatives. If you’re on Long Island and you’d like to help out, please send letters to your local reps: Nassau Residents / Suffolk Residents

Here is the letter that I will be sending to all my representatives. Please feel free to use any (or all) of what I’ve written to send to your reps.

Dear (Various Legislators),

Rabbits are the third most popular pet on Long Island and they are also the third most abandoned, neglected and abused animal on Long Island.  A great contributor to their abandonment is the ease in which rabbits can be bought in local pet stores.

I am a volunteer with the Long Island Rabbit Rescue Group.  We are an all-volunteer organization whose mission is to rescue abandoned and neglected domestic rabbits, have them medically treated and find them safe and loving indoor homes.  Despite our best efforts, the situation for domestic rabbits on Long Island continues to be one of great struggle.  We are turning to you and your colleagues for help.

Domestic rabbits are frequently purchased in pet stores for children or as an impulse buy. If they tire of the pet, parents often “release” them in the wild, basically abandoning them. Unlike cats and dogs, rabbits are a prey animal and considerably more vulnerable when abandoned. Unlike their wild North American cousins, domestic rabbits do not have the skills and instincts to survive on their own in nature. Abandonment is essentially a death sentence.

In 2015, our rescue group was contacted about 565 domestic rabbits that were abandoned and neglected via email, and dozens more via phone or social media, bringing the total to nearly 1,000 rabbits. That number will likely be similar, if not higher for 2016.

There are almost certainly many more we don’t hear about.  We work closely with the Nassau County and Suffolk County SPCA teams and each of the Town shelters, but none are equipped to care for rabbits. Local rescue groups like ours are forced to house the rabbits in make-shift shelters and foster homes scattered throughout the homes of volunteers.

We have a chance to make a real positive difference by banning the sale of domestic rabbits in pet stores on Long Island.  New York City enacted legislation to ban the sale of domestic rabbits in pet stores in 2015.  San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and most recently Boston have implemented similar laws.

Long Island needs to step up on behalf of domestic rabbits. I ask you to please support any legislation to protect the abandoned, abused and neglected domestic rabbit population.

Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Diana Kronenberg

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