I never miss an opportunity to talk to my friend Helen at the Richmond Animal Shelter. During her days work, she encounters the best and the worst of animal owners. This is one of her tales.
It was Tuesday afternoon, and Helen called me quite furious. She has just received a call from a person who had purchased two rabbits — a male and a female — from a Richmond pet store. The pair of rabbits proceeded to have lots of babies in less than 4 months, and the owners told Helen “these are not an easy pets!”. The caller was careful to say that he had purchased the rabbits before the ban on the sale of rabbits, and that he had called the pet store and they refused to take the rabbits back. Instead, this pet store told the rabbit owner to call the Richmond Animal Protection Society to surrender the rabbits.
Naturally, Helen was upset. Helen and I, along with many other advocates had argued for the City of Richmond to ban the sale of rabbit because people kept buying them and either abandoning them to the park or surrendering them to the city shelter. Pet store owners argued that they would “help out” people who wanted to give back their pets, but it now appears that was a disingenuous statement. Instead, the pet store manager suggested they dump the rabbits at the local animal shelter. Helen confronted the store manager on this issue, and the manager claimed they couldn’t sell the rabbits and so they couldn’t take them back. “Well it’s a good thing we made you stop selling rabbits, isn’t it!” stated Helen. The pet store manager had no reply.
It is, indeed, a good thing we banned rabbits, because now there are eight more rabbits homeless because of pet store sales in Richmond. What did they think was going to happen when you sell a coupled pair of rabbits? I hope those little rabbits find good homes.