By Nick Austin, Meteorologist / Reporter - bio | email
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -- Cats and dogs come to mind when most people think of McKamey Animal Center. But when a breeder brought seven rabbits there recently, space for the cute critters ran low quickly.
"We don't accommodate more than that easily and so we're trying to adopt rabbits out," explains Karen Walsh, Executive Director.
The overcrowding has some of them staying in file rooms or kitten spaces--without kittens, of course.
According to Walsh, McKamey's the only shelter in Chattanooga which accepts rabbits, so there's a waiting list for more to arrive. But the fluffy friends currently residing there have to find homes first.
"A lot of people don't value pocket pets and rabbits the same way they would a dog," says Walsh.
She also says some breeders raise rabbits for their meat, using what's left over for other things.
"They do make rabbit's foot charms and things like that," explains Walsh. "Rabbits are often a more abused animal than a cat or dog."
Besides being cuddly, Walsh encourages people to consider adopting rabbits because have great personalities, can easily be trained using a litter box, and are low-maintenance.
"You don't have to walk them like you would a dog. They can be kept in apartments. They're very quiet," says Walsh.
Kacie Garrison of Chickamauga, Georgia has had pets all her life.
"Dogs, horses, cows, we've had everything," says Garrison, including a puppy she recently adopted from McKamey.
But she's never had a rabbit. She's slowly coming around to the idea.
"They'd be cool to have in the house and we have a little boy. So he might like it," admits Garrison.
So if you think a rabbit might be a good fit for your family, it's just a hop, skip, and a jump to the shelter to find out.
"You can come in and just spend time with a rabbit and learn more about them," says Walsh.
And it's not too expensive. The adoption fee is only $20, which includes spaying or neutering.