the real HIP HOP
Talk to the cute, furry little animals if you want to at a Hippity
What started as a family project has taken a Gastonia woman on a trip
down the bunny trail.
Sonya Summerville bought three rabbits last May to help teach her
children Shauna, 8, and William, 10, about nature and being
Shauna Somerville holds a rabbit during her
Hippity Hop Birthday Party.
|The fun they’ve had in raising and caring
for the indoor rabbits not only inspired the family to get more —
they’re currently up to seven, with more on the way — but it
convinced Sonya to start a business to show them off.
The result is Hippity Hop Parties and More, a children’s party service
in which Sonya will bring her rabbits for children to hold, pet and
learn about the animals. Sonya’s previous parties have been primarily
for children ranging from 3-10 years old.
“We’re having a good time with the bunnies,” she said.
They’ve also been learning about breeding and showing rabbits and have
traveled throughout the state to attend various rabbit conventions and
shows. Beverly and Bessie, two of the Summerville’s three female
rabbits, are expecting this month, meaning they could have up to 12 more
bunnies join their family in time for Easter.
There’s a lot involved in taking care of the rabbits, Sonya said.
There are dozens of toenails to trim, cages that need regular cleaning
and much-needed socialization time with family members outside of their
cages. There’s also constant feedings - they drink lots of water and
eat celery, processed rabbit food, Timothy hay and toast.
Often, Sonya and Shauna will sit out on ther front porch combing their
“Raising rabbits has been a way for me and my daughter to spend
quality time together,” she said. “We both enjoy spending that time
with each other.”
Want a bunny party?
Hippity Hop Parties and More is a children’s party service featuring
seven American fuzzy lop rabbits. It costs about $30 for a half-hour
show-and-tell session. Party-planning and bunny-related arts and crafts
are also available for an additional fee. For more information, contact
Sonya Summerville at 704-674-8911 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also visit www.hippityhoppartiesandmore.com.
Thinking about buying a bunny?
Taking care of a rabbit is a bigger commitment than most people realize,
according to rabbit experts. They’re high-maintenance pets and can
live 10 or more years. They have specific dietary needs and their
veterinarian visits can cost as much as those for dogs and cats.
They’re also the third-most euthanized animals in U.S. shelters after
dogs and cats, according to the American Society for the Prevention of
Cruelty to Animals, and thousands of bunnies are given to shelters or
abandoned in the wild each year after their novelty wears off.
Most rabbit and animal rights activists discourage parents from buying
rabbits as pets for their children at Easter. But, if you’re seriously
considering getting one, here are six questions to ask yourself before
making the purchase:
1. Who will be the primary caretaker? Even if given as a gift to a
child, the parent should act as the primary caretaker.
2. Where will they live? It’s recommended that pet rabbits live
3. Is anyone in your home allergic to rabbits or hay?
4. Do you have other pets?
5. If you move, get married, have a baby or if the kids lost interest,
are you prepared to keep the rabbit?
6. Is your home rabbit-proof? Rabbit-proofing includes putting away or
hiding electrical cords, covering baseboards to protect them from
chewing and blocking off small spaces a rabbit might explore, like
Source: www.sandiegorabbits.org and www.aspca.org.