Spokane’s “crazy rabbit lady” urges families to think twice before adopting own Easter bunnies
SPOKANE, Wash. — “I didn’t start to be the ‘crazy rabbit lady,’ I just became one.”
But Tracy Martin wouldn’t have it any other way. When she’s not teaching others how to care for their rabbits, Spokane’s self-proclaimed “crazy rabbit lady” spends her days with hers, Canoodle — and 13 others — at her Peaceful Valley home, which plays host to three rabbit houses in her backyard.
“It’s a little bunny village back here,” Martin, a house rabbit educator, says of the houses, which each have electricity and insulation.
Tracy will be the first to tell you that it hasn’t always been this way. She started out with one bunny, but didn’t know exactly how to care for it.
“I did everything wrong with her,” she remembers. “I kept her in a hutch, I didn’t feed her correctly.”
When she lost that rabbit to an early death, she devoted her life to teaching others where she went wrong, even putting up signs and billboards in the 2000’s. That mission is especially important to her this time of the year.
“A lot of people think rabbits are easy pets and good for children, but actually it’s not the case,” Tracy cautions.
That’s how Tracy has come to care for her 14 bunnies, who are all rescues.
“They have all been somebody else’s bunny that’s been abandoned,” she says.
She’s found that every year, around Easter Sunday, families take in their own bunnies, but quickly realize they can’t give them the time and space they need to thrive.
“You wouldn’t keep a cat in a cage, you wouldn’t keep a dog in a cage, you shouldn’t really keep a rabbit in a cage,” Tracy says. “If they bring them home and the kids lose interest, or the bunny does something bad, people think that they can just let them loose, which is not the truth at all.”
She urges everyone to think twice before taking a bunny home, because while these rabbits can’t be cooped up in a cage, they also can’t survive for long in the wild, either, without care for a family — something she and her husband Max are happy to give them.
“Once you learn to love a bunny, they really are awesome pets,” Tracy says. “But I need you to know, that it is a lot of work too.”
Tracy says rabbits are best suited for adults, since they sleep all day. She recommends adopting from a shelter or rescue and avoiding pet stores.
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