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Petland: Stop Selling Rabbits

This petition had 337 supporters

As the Easter season nears, rabbit production is kicked into high-gear to meet the demand of parents who want to surprise their children with baby bunnies. One dependable corporate chain of pet retailers, Petland, always has that supply available.

These baby bunnies are "manufactured" in rabbit mills, where rabbits are still considered livestock. They are separated from their mothers and shipped at a very young age to Petland locations.

I have called a few Petland locations around the country and asked for the ages of the bunnies they sell. Interestingly enough, all locations gave the generic answer of "about 8 weeks." 8 weeks is the age that is appropriate to separate babies from their mother. No one factors in the time it takes for breeders to ship the babies to the actual Petland locations. This means that babies are shipped much younger than what is told to us.

Rabbits are sold without being spayed or neutered. Employees of Petland sell them without proper paperwork or without telling potential owners what kind of maintenance is needed for rabbit care. Although very personable and lovable, rabbits are a higher-maintenance pet than people realize. Petland employees don't tell you how to bunny-proof your home or what kind of health issue rabbits might have in the future.

Not everyone is a good fit for bunnies, especially children. But they are the primary audience on Easter, aren't they? Although children are enthusiastic bunny lovers, they aren't aware of how to handle rabbits in the most gentle way. This leads to distress or injury to the rabbit and sometimes nipped hands of the child.

What happens to a bunny after Easter. Well, if parents are not willing to take care of the animal and children become bored, the bunny can end up in one of three places: The Human Society (which is filled to the brim with homeless bunnies) Back at a Petland (where the chance someone else will purchase a quickly growing bunny are slim) Or out into the wilderness (where the domesticated bunny will get hit by a car, starve or become food for predators)

Petland has already shown that animal care is too difficult for them to handle. These stories of animal abuse are astounding. A Petland store here in Ohio was closed when one of its employees drowned two rabbits and took pictures of the grisly scene. An example of puppy care at Petland was filmed by a CAPS investigator in 2006. The director of House Rabbit Society, Margo DeMello, writes about the industry and care of rabbits in this article.

I would like for Petland to stop selling animals entirely, but we might have to make small changes a little bit at a time. I'm starting this petition as a bunny owner and the timing couldn't  be better.

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