Housing Complex

Perfect Pet for an Apartment? Try Rabbits.

Dogs and cats. Dogs and cats. When potential pet owners of the greater D.C. area are looking to add some fur to their abodes, dogs and cats are the go-to. But consider the small, humble bunny.

Bunnies don't bark. They don't claw the top of your pillow at 3 a.m. They don't need to be walked. Neither your neighbors—nor likely your landlord—need know you have an adorable-eared roomate.

"We put bunnies in our newsletters, on our Web site. We take them to TV appearances. It's the first room here at the shelter....We put them anywhere we think they'll be visible," says Kay Speerstra, executive director of the Animal Welfare League of Arlington.

"Bunnies do take longer to adopt than dogs and cats," says Communications Manager Susan Sherman.

Although they're not pets for the absent-minded owner—bunnies will chew electrical chords and such—they're pretty much ideal for urban living. Rebecca Kingery, a volunteer at the shelter in Shirlington for more than 20 years, had three. 

"I always thought of myself as a dog person," she says. It's the reason she started coming to the shelter in the first place—to be near and walk dogs since she was a renter in Arlington County and couldn't own one.

The bunnies got a lot less attention, she says, so she started paying attention to them. Her first two rabbits were a "bonded pair." Nestle and Beatrix were attached to one another and had to be adopted together. "Once you have two like that, you understand," says Kingery. "They're very social."

The original two have died. She has a third and at the shelter Thursdsay, it's Kingery cleaning the cages of the seven bunnies available for adoption. All of them are spayed or neutered.