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Carley
19-08-2012, 10:02 AM
Good morning.

I know that we hear all to often about rabbits ending up needing to be rehomed due to children 'losing interest' in their pets. Obviously I am well aware that it is the parents responsibility to care for the pet etc.

Anyway I just wanted to tell you about the reaction in my household yesterday when our two house bunnies went away for the evening for their first night together bonding.

It has been planned for a few days that Matilda and Kyle would spend the evening at the woman's house who is helping with bonding. (she is an angel!)
Due to space restrictions we would be looking after a bonded pair of hers :)

When I first told my 5 year old daughter she was excited about the prospect of meeting two other buns and my 4 year old seemed indifferent but needed reassurance that our bunnies would be returned.

Well yesterday morning as we welcomed the new buns and said goodbye to ours my daughter broke down in tears saying how much she would miss her bunnies because she loves them so much. Then my son ran down stairs crying as well!

We had to go and visit our buns yesterday afternoon as well as my daughter wanted to check that they had lots of hay!

I just wanted to share this with you all as I am so proud of my children for valuing their pets. I encourage them to help me with feeding, foraging and looking things up regarding care. I am pleased that I have always involved the children in their care as it warms my heart every evening when my children say good night to the bunnies and tell them that they will see them in the morning with breakfast.

HoneyBear
19-08-2012, 10:13 AM
I've taken in 2 rabbits now that we're children's pets they had lost interest in.
So really lovely to hear the other side of the story :D

Lea-Anne
19-08-2012, 11:02 AM
I'm sure there are children out there who really do love their pets ( I was one of them) but unfortunately it's the minority :(

Sweet story :love:

RedFraggle
19-08-2012, 11:10 AM
I have a perception that maybe it's a bit different with house rabbits as they are there all the time so the children become more involved in them, as opposed to the poor bunny in a hutch at the bottom of the garden that children barely see which involves going out in the cold and rain to care for. Would be interested if any rescue folk had any feedback on that and whether more outdoor buns come in for that reason than indoor. I also think if the kids are interested in the pet the parents are more likely to keep them on.

Cari
19-08-2012, 11:17 AM
When my brother was 7 he asked for a rabbit for his birthday and was given our lovely Cuddles. He loved that rabbit so very much and he lived until he was 9.
He would spend hours cleaning him out, feeding him and playing with him. Obviously we made mistakes, he did live on his own, he was fed muesli as we didn't know any better (he was bought nearly 15 years ago) but my brother looked after him so well :) I do think children can be very attentive and loving to their pets.

William
19-08-2012, 11:18 AM
I'm sure there are children out there who really do love their pets ( I was one of them) but unfortunately it's the minority :(

Sweet story :love:

Same with me, and my siblings as well. :)

I imagine 'the kids got bored of them' is used as an excuse sometimes too when the parents just want to get rid of the pets.
Plus, most of the time the parents expect too much of the kid, I mean taking care of pets is a big responsibility so the parents shouldn't expect them to always take proper care of them, which sadly is usually the case. I'm sure the kid wouldn't get bored of the pets if they were allowed to care for and play with them when they wanted and their parents took care of them the rest of the time.

madcatwoman
19-08-2012, 12:27 PM
My daughter wanted rabbits from the age of 5. We told her she had to wait till she was 8 thinking she would loose interest in the idea, Wrong!

|We took on 2 rspca bunnies free to good home cos they had been at the centre 3 years. My daughter is nearly 14 and still loves her bunnies, not the original ones, sadly both at the bridge now.

just before her 13th birthday we had to put Bicci to sleep. She came to the vets and stood and listened to the vet, the vet was amazed that she wanted to stay at only 12 years old. She looked away while they did the injection then cuddled her and took some fluff away with us. She was totally devastated, the vet was amazed at her courage but she said it was only right she stayed as it was her bunny and her responsibility.

4 weeks later we lost tommy our other rabbit, he just went downhill after bicci went. He was at the vets and my daughter was very responisible when the vet rang and said we needed to let him go, it would have taken us a good half an hour to get to the vets and my daughter felt he needed to go now and not have to suffer longer just so we could be there. Maybe not the decision I would have made, I always like to say goodbye but it was her decision.

I think sometimes people underestimate kids. Yes its a daily question in our house of 'have you mucked the rabbits out' etc but she is always the first to spot any problem or issue with them and they adore her cos she doesnt do bum checks etc and run a mile from me cos I do the checking:lol:

My 8 yr old son has just got in to goldfish and is excellent with their care

DemiS
19-08-2012, 12:37 PM
Awww that's so cute :love: I got my first rabbit when I was about 7 and was always the primary carer (my parents weren't bothered) and although I've made quite a few mistakes I've always continued to care and pay for them, I'm certainly not as 'excited' about them as I have been when a new rabbit has arrived but I wouldn't say I've lost interest. I'm still quite against rabbits as childrens pets though as I know I am the minority, although my grandmas neighbour has a little girl and she's also had rabbits quite a few years and she's never lost interest, she's brilliant with them :love:

Carley
19-08-2012, 12:59 PM
Aww it is lovely to read these posts :)

I have to say that as a grown woman I find the buns a lot of work so I would never expect a child to do all of it. However it is nice when my children get excited about foraging etc and stroking.

Rabbits are a joy to own and are perfect as a family pet although my children don't call them pets, they are their rabbit brother and sister!

Mrs. Bunnykins
19-08-2012, 01:04 PM
Carley, thank you for such a heartwarming story.:thumb::thumb:

:D:D

Rach210
19-08-2012, 01:09 PM
We got rabbits when my brother was 4 and I was 6, and inevitably my parents ended up caring for them. Me and my brother helped a bit though.

I got a hamster when I was 10 though and it was the most spoiled hamster! She was my pride and joy and I was heartbroken when she passed aged 2.

blue_vix
19-08-2012, 04:52 PM
I think children loose interest for a few reasons.
It may be that they were never all that interested in the first place and they were just bought the animal as a present. In which case the initial interest was novelty and nothing to sustain beyond that.
It may be that the parents are not interested in supporting their children to be interested in and care for their pets. If, for example they aren't really allowed to get them out to play with them or get told off for coming in the house covered in rabbit hair and hay or the parents are saying 'just leave the rabbit it'll be fine...
it may be that their are too many pets in the house and the rabbit is competing with a dog or a cat that is more conducive to cuddles and play.

When I was younger me and my sis had a guinea pig each and we also had a dog. Although I loved the guinea pig my mum ended giving them away as we couldn't get them out the hutch without the dog going mental and so their cleaning out etc had to be timed for when the dog was out on his walk, meaning the whole experience of looking after them was quite stressful. Ideally we wouldn't have had the dog but when me and my sis nattered for one we didn't at that age understand the potential difficulties of mixing different types of pets.

Saj
19-08-2012, 05:50 PM
i think the whole "children lost interest" excuse is a load of balony, personally. Children dont lost interest, adults do.

We have young kids and yeh they like the rabbits and can learn from them, but they certainly didnt influence our decision to get a pet - that's an adult choice and committment

Milo+Fizz
19-08-2012, 06:02 PM
It's lovely when your children share your love of pets isn't it :love:. At the age of 4 I told my little girl we would be getting a new rabbit and she burst into tears. I asked her why she didn't want a new bunny and she told me she loved Milo and Fizz too much to swap them. :love: Most children would love anything that was new and exciting but she was just happy with the 2 that she had had since she was a few months old. She was however over the moon when she realised it was an extra rabbit we were getting.

Tatihou
19-08-2012, 06:09 PM
i think the whole "children lost interest" excuse is a load of balony, personally. Children dont lost interest, adults do. Exactly right, imo. I bet those who maintain an interest and really bond with their animals are the ones with parents who are fond of and interested in the pets themselves. Kids often copy parental behaviour - why should care and interest in pets be any different.

madcatwoman
19-08-2012, 06:16 PM
Exactly right, imo. I bet those who maintain an interest and really bond with their animals are the ones with parents who are fond of and interested in the pets themselves. Kids often copy parental behaviour - why should care and interest in pets be any different.

I completely agree, 4 cats, 2 rabbits and a fish tank, I eventually get a coffee on a morning after doing the cats breakfast, daughter does the bunnies, son does the fish. I think its important for kids to realise something relies on them. I do obviously keep an eye on how they look after their pets and taught them from day 1 what they needed etc. My big gripe is when people need to rehome a pet because they have had a baby. We had 5 cats when our children were born, they learnt to respect the cats and learnt early on that if you pull a tail etc you get an angry cat. The cats learnt that if they were being pestered they would go upstairs or on top of a kitchen unit out of the way.

Lea-Anne
19-08-2012, 06:22 PM
I have a perception that maybe it's a bit different with house rabbits as they are there all the time so the children become more involved in them, as opposed to the poor bunny in a hutch at the bottom of the garden that children barely see which involves going out in the cold and rain to care for. Would be interested if any rescue folk had any feedback on that and whether more outdoor buns come in for that reason than indoor. I also think if the kids are interested in the pet the parents are more likely to keep them on.

My rabbit meg was a house rabbit. She was kept in a guinea pig cage and never let out. Her back had lost muscle tone. Owned by an adult who had had her 6months then chucked her out to make room for a christmas tree, two weeks before christmas. She was said to be fiesty and ' not very nice.' To use the words of my vet on examining her : ' rubbish. She's lovely. It's just an excuse to get rid of her . ' :cry: