Every year, hundreds of parents celebrate Easter by getting a bunny. While getting new pets is always fun for the family and can help teach children responsibility, be aware of the care and commitment needed for your new pet to avoid the real problem of it being abandoned after Easter Sunday.
“We do get an influx of rabbits right after Easter, due to people giving them as gifts. People are usually unsure how to take care of them or don’t want to do so, so they return them. We want to make sure these rabbits get well taken care of,” said Alex Carter, adoption counselor at the Nevada Humane Society.
Many people are unaware that rabbits can live up to 10 years, which is as long as a small dog’s average lifespan. Rabbits are also not considered “low maintenance” pets, according to the House Rabbit Society. They often require at least the same amount of work as getting a cat or dog, sometimes more.
Many Easter bunnies fail to make their first birthday because of neglect and improper care. Others are often abandoned in parks, fields, and animal shelters. Leaving rabbits to fend for themselves in parks is dangerous, as they’re domestic animals and didn’t learn how to fend for themselves. They can easily be prey for hawks, foxes or dogs.
This isn’t to say absolutely never take a rabbit as a pet, it’s to say be prepared before you commit.
“We make people go through animal counseling to learn how to take care of these animals,” said Carter. “If they show that they are able to properly take care of the animals, we let them adopt. Rabbits are good pets for children as long as the parents have the knowledge of how to properly take care of them also.”
So this Easter, maybe instead of getting a live animal, gift your family or friends a much more low maintenance (and delicious!) chocolate bunny.