Thinking of bringing home a live bunny as an Easter gift this April? Did you know that…
…Pet rabbits can live from seven to ten or more years and require the same long-term care as dogs and cats?
…Young children and bunnies aren’t such a good match?
…Pet rabbits aren’t low-maintenance pets―they have specific dietary and veterinary needs, and must be handled with care?
…Pet rabbits must live indoors, with their human families?
…Thousands of ex-Easter bunnies are abandoned to shelters or into the wild each year when their novelty wears off?
If your family's set on getting a rabbit, start by giving a chocolate bunny or a stuffed toy for Easter and, if your young children are really serious about it, a book on rabbit care. If they're still begging you for a bun after the holiday has passed, go to your local shelter or rescue group and find out how to adopt the rabbit (or even better, a bonded pair) of your dreams. For info on bunny care and rescue groups, head to the House Rabbit Society.
You can also help spread the word that rabbits are not disposable pets by getting involved in the Make Mine Chocolate! campaign. Started in 2002 by the Columbus House Rabbit Society, the campaign aims to educate the public about the challenges of owning a rabbit and encourages parents to give chocolate or toy bunnies as Easter gifts instead of live rabbits. Check out the group's website, MakeMineChocolate.org, for more info.
Did you know that cute baby bunny you’re thinking of buying for your child on Easter may still be around long after your child has grown into a teen? Rabbits can live as long as small dogs. Should the novelty wear off, you’ll have an adult rabbit in the house who needs your care and attention every day.
Before you fill your Easter basket with a live bunny, find out what it takes to care for a pet rabbit.