The Scratching Post is a weekly newsletter from pets columnist Kate Karp, bringing you all the latest news on pet adoptions, animal welfare and ways to get involved.

Burrow in with ‘A House Rabbit Primer’

Last week’s newsletter was devoted to turtles and tortoises, so it follows that rabbits and hares should come second.

If you are thinking of adding a rabbit to the family, check out shelters and rescues—they harbor rabbits that were dumped in parks, neglected, abused, or just given up on because they proved to not be fluffy toys. And before you hare off to rescue a rabbit, learn all there is to learn about their care and personalities. And boy, do we have a book for that!

A House Rabbit Primer” by biologist Lucile C. Moore includes everything you need to know about pet rabbits in one reader-friendly book. Moore has published numerous articles about rabbit care and has 14 of her own in her home in Kanab, Utah, located near the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary.

The book includes nearly 300 pages separated into one section for rabbit care and behavior and another about health and medical care. Also included are appendices listing rescues and shelters and plants poisonous to rabbits and hares.

The photos, information and tales about cottontails from Moore’s life with her bunnies and that of rabbit companions she knows make for an enjoyable as well as informative read. In fact, you should read the book before you even go wabbit hunting. Adopting a rabbit is different from bringing home a dog or a cat, and “Primer” will let you know exactly what you’re getting into.

Rabbits and hares, you’ll learn, are delicate and fragile—keep this in mind regarding anyone boisterous in the home. Moore stresses the importance of creating a rabbit-friendly environment free from danger and noise, and she’ll tell you exactly how to do it.

The diet section details what to feed rabbits and what not to feed them. Bugs Bunny notwithstanding, carrots in excess can harm rabbits because of the sugar content.

An entire chapter is devoted to communication. Moore says that owners are often fascinated by “how well these ‘silent’ animals are able to communicate.” Rabbits know how to get what they want—one of Moore’s rabbits throws things for the purpose.

With all the work, why adopt a rabbit? Because they’re affectionate, entertaining, companionable, clean and playful, and Moore illustrates this throughout the book. They can bond with cats and dogs with properly managed introductions. They’re easy to clean up after and can often be box-trained. Because all the work becomes second nature anyway—Moore promises that—in short, because you’re captivated.

If you’re in love with getting a rabbit, read this book.


It’s probably obvious that the Bunny Bunch, a rescue organization, is a respected source of all things lagomorph (hares and rabbits). I learned that from “A House Rabbit Primer,” too. Bunny Bunch’s web page is a complete resource for everything mentioned in the book and also includes a veterinary referral section. The rescue often pulls rabbits from Long Beach Animal Care Services Bunny Barn and, of course, has rabbits and hares to adopt. Here are a few of their lovely bunnies looking for forever homes at the Fountain Valley location. Details for adopting cottontails are available here.

Padme (tricolor female) and Hopper (gray male) are a bonded pair of lops looking for their forever home. They love to cuddle with each other and spend most of their time together. They sadly lost their home through no fault of their own. They are very patient with humans and enjoy pats on their heads. Padme is about 2 years old, and Hopper is about 3 years old.

TikTok is a delightfully curious and active white-and-gray harlequin bunny. He is sweet and loves pets. He was part of a group of nine rabbits found abandoned in a shopping cart (can you imagine?). He would love to find his forever home where he can explore and delight his new family with his joyful binkies and zoomies!

Penelope is a gorgeous French angora rabbit. She is 2 years old and has the most wonderful personality. She is outgoing and friendly, and she loves attention and pets. Since she is an Angora, she needs more grooming care. She is looking for a loving forever home of her own.


Dogs wanted for live TV segment: Monday, June 5, 11-11:30 a.m., Rosie’s Dog Beach, Ocean Boulevard between Granada and Roycroft avenues, Long Beach. NBC’s California Live segment will focus on dogs having fun in the sand and surf, and your pooch could be a star! RSVP to [email protected].

KLOS Pet Adoption Day: Saturday, June 10, 10 a.m.–3 p.m., Long Beach Animal Care Services, 7700 E. Spring St. at entrance to El Dorado Park (no parking fee for shelter visitors), Long Beach, special $20 adoption fees. Free gift bags go to everyone who goes home with a pet. Dogs, cats and bunnies from Long Beach Animal Care Services and spcaLA will vie for a place in your home and heart as the music plays on and the games and raffles roll.

Second annual Long Beach Summer Adoption and Craft Fair: Saturday and Sunday, July 8-9, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Marina Green Park, 386 E. Shoreline Drive, Long Beach. Free. Adoption fees apply. Practically every rescue within the reach of Long Beach will be at this great event, so if you’re looking for your best friend, you have no excuse to not shop but adopt! Of course, you’ll want to shop at the vendor booths! Stay tuned for more info.

To see a list of local animal rescue groups, click here.