Environment
5:01 am
Mon December 10, 2012

Seattle Animal Shelter opens rabbit spay and neuter service

Though well known for their amorous natures, pet rabbits still aren’t fixed as often as they should be. To help curb the problem, the Seattle Animal Shelter will open its rabbit spay and neuter service to the public in January.

Shelter veterinarian Mary Ellen Zoulas says a common cause of unexpected pregnancy in rabbits has to do with folks mistaking Peter Cottontail for a female.

"People misidentify the sex, thinking that they’re putting two girls or two boys together," Dr Zoulas says,  when actually they have a mating pair.

The service has been offered to animals adopted from the shelter for nearly 15 years, but this is the first time it will be offered to the general public.

Meanwhile, pet rabbits released into the wild without being spayed or neutered have wreaked havoc on local ecology.

In August of this year, study of Washington’s Destruction Island, near LaPush, linked the presence of rabbits to cliff erosion. The breeding bunnies also attract more eagles, disturbing a delicate eco-system and scaring other birds.