RABBITS FOR ALL SEASONS: SPRING
THE FACTS: According to our research, North Shore Animal League does NOT take rabbits, Bideawee does NOT take rabbits. Little Shelter does NOT take rabbits, the SPCA does NOT take rabbits. Our priorities are the abandoned rabbits on death row at municipal shelters. Therefore, we cannot take owner-surrendered pets because of lack of space.
Think before you buy.
DON'T BUY a live bunny as an Easter present because:
• A gift of a live rabbit means no more to a small child in a few weeks than a plastic Halloween mask or a toy Santa Claus. But unlike those things, a rabbit will need daily care and attention to survive. A better choice is a plush toy Easter bunny that can be loved by small children without any maintenance and without any risk of injuring the fragile bunny. Live rabbits are not passive and cuddly. They are a ground-dwelling prey species who feel frightened and insecure when held or restrained.
• A rabbit can live 8 to 12 years and may still be alive when the child goes off to college. A rabbit is a long-term commitment.
• Helpless female rabbits are often over bred in puppy-mill-like conditions to accommodate the seasonal market for Easter bunnies (as well as baby chicks and ducklings) and excess unsold "stock" is disposed of at the end of the Easter season. Disposal could mean a number of things: used as snake food; dumped outdoors to fall prey to raccoons, hawks, disease or the elements; or killed so as not to take up valuable store merchandise space.
• Many pet store baby bunnies don't survive past a few weeks, either because they were weaned underage to be sold as "baby dwarfs," or because they've contracted disease that their overstressed, overcrowded, and immuno-compromised mothers carried. Overcrowded conditions help maximize pet store profits, and many are sick at the time of purchase, often resulting in costly vet bills for the new owners, death for the young bunny, and trauma for the child who loved him.
• A cute and cuddly tiny baby bunny soon grows larger and becomes a hormone-driven adolescent whose negative behaviors cause many people to regret having bought them. Since pet stores do not inform customers about the important role neutering plays to correct those behaviors and make a rabbit a more loving companion, we get approximately 100 CALLS A MONTH from people wanting to re-home their once-docile pet.
He's not a child's toy, he's a real, live, 10-year commitment.
ADOPT A RESCUED RABBIT if you're sure it's the right pet for you and your family because:
• You're saving the life of an abandoned rabbit and making room in our foster homes for one who would otherwise be euthanized in a public shelter.
• You will be choosing a rabbit based not only on looks, but on personality, too. He or she will be socialized and used to human contact.
• Your rabbit will be vet checked, and spayed or neutered.
• Your rabbit will be litter box trained.
• We provide instruction on handling, nail clipping, temperature taking, and assistance in integrating a bunny into your home.
• We're there for you if you have questions or need help after you've adopted and provide ongoing support.
Consider these Easter gifts instead for small children:
• Chocolate or marshmallow bunnies
• Plush toy bunny
• Peter Rabbit video
Bunny slippers, etc.
If you know someone who's thinking about purchasing a pet rabbit for Easter, give them the House Rabbit Society's Children and Rabbits flyer or share The Easter Bunny Poem with them.
Other LIRRG articles:
Rabbits for all Seasons, Autumn: Outside Rabits? Don't Fall for it!
Rabbits for all Seasons, Winter: How to Have a Hoppy Holiday
Rabbits for all Seasons, Summer: Beware of Heat Stroke and Fly Strike