The idea of a rabbit growing up with children is extremely dreamy. However, many parents do not have the right expectations and ended up giving the pet away. As many as 60% of our rescued rabbits were from such cases. In our rehoming journey, we have met excellent parents who are great owners. So what makes them so different?

In all our successful cases, the parents are most excited about a pet, not the children. This is important because the parents will be the primary caregiver and have to be well-prepared to care for them, in sickness and in health. If the parents are not passionate, the children will not be either.

Parents are the most influential role models to their child. They have to lead by example in being compassionate and responsible. It is wrong to assume that a pet can teach responsibility to a child. It is the role of the parents to guide a child.

Rabbits are prey animals and do not like to be cuddled. They have a fragile bone structure and can get injured easily. Parents should instill realistic expectation in their children to protect the animal. Setting ground rules are important to ensure children are careful and behaving appropriately.

It is important for the pet to be treated as part of the family. While you may nag when a family member makes a mess, you will still clean up after them because you love them. You will bring them to a doctor when they are unwell and you will do what you can to provide the best for them. Giving them up will never be a thought in their mind.

The decision to acquire a pet is important for an impressionable child and have a significant impact to how they treat animals in the future. We hope all parents can make mature decisions to instill the correct sense of responsibility and inculcate the right values to cultivate a compassionate future.