As a rabbit rescue, part of Zooh Corner’s mission is to advocate for the welfare and safety of all rabbits. Ill-prepared owners who receive rabbits as Easter gifts are unfamiliar with the needs and responsibilities of pet ownership. All too often, these bunnies are neglected, and local humane societies and rabbit rescues are flooded with these former gifts. Some irresponsible “owners” simply cast them out, exposing an unprepared domesticated pet to unforgiving situations like wild animals.
Here are some quick notes about having a rabbit as a pet. You may or may not know that rabbits:
- live roughly ten years;
- require routine veterinary checkups;
- eat a diet of grass hays and daily fresh greens;
- crave attention and affection
- are not suitable as a children’s pet, as they can be easily injured if improperly handled;
- are best suited as an indoor pet; and
- enjoy the company of another bunny (when properly introduced and bonded to a compatible bondmate).
The Make Mine Chocolate campaign advocates for the education of people thinking of buying a rabbit as a gift, stating that responsible alternatives exist, including chocolates, toys, and plushes. There is a compelling book written by Nancy Furstinger about a baby rabbit that is given to children as an Easter gift, only to be neglected soon after. Another good book by Gretta Parker is based on the life of Flopsy Parker, who was rescued from a shelter after being rejected by a family that had received him as an Easter gift. If your family, particularly your young ones, are adamant about having getting a bunny as a gift, these stories can help put the situation in perspective.
If you are truly committed to bringing a rabbit into your life, please become educated about what is required to be a responsible pet owner. Your adoption will save a life and bring love to a once-neglected pet.