Year of 'Abandoned Rabbit'

The Editor,

You may still have Easter lily flowers decorating your table and some chocolate stashed away in your cupboard, but officially it's over and done with.

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However, as I drove around Richmond after Easter Day, looking at that sweet and adorable animal that so often symbolizes Easter, I realized that it really isn't over. You see, I discovered the animal that represents Easter everywhere.

Rabbits were in the park, at the side of the road, pretty much everywhere I went. So for the living, breathing rabbits that are out there on the streets of Richmond, their official holiday is not over by any means.

Last year, was the Year of the Rabbit by the Chinese Zodiac calendar. Speaking on behalf of the rabbits living on the streets of Richmond, they declare 2012 to be the "Year of the Abandoned Rabbit."

Many of you already know what I am talking about. The people who feed the abandoned bunnies, the people who call for help when they find sick bunnies and the people who remove the bunnies' dead bodies after being hit by cars, are already well aware of the situation happening daily here in Richmond.

These folks know the bunnies you see in the parks and on the streets all over Richmond are pet rabbits or the offspring of pet rabbits that have been abandoned.

Bunnies that are there because their owners have decided they no longer want their pet, so they dump it. Sadly, a pet rabbit that is dumped on the streets has as much chance for survival as does any other type of pet. A pet is dependant on its owner to provide food, water, shelter, medical care and protection from predators. Therefore, a pet is dependant on its owner for survival.

When a pet rabbit is dumped on the streets, it's forced to play a real game of Survivor, and most of the pet rabbits lose.

Let's make this the year the residents and government of Richmond try to end the tragedy happening in our community. Let us not continue to be known as a city where animals are dying regularly on our streets. Instead, let us make the "Year of the Abandoned Rabbit" end with not a single abandoned rabbit left struggling to survive.

It needs to be done and it can be done. In the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., "Never be afraid to do what's right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake.

Society's punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way."

Cindy Howard Richmond

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