Easter is coming up, which means, for many people, egg hunts, an abundance of chocolate and candy, family dinners and church services. Many of these individuals also fall prey to the images in the media of cute, floppy-eared little bunnies and think a real live one would make the perfect gift for the child, or children, in their lives. Unfortunately, most people do not understand the amount of care that these beautiful, intelligent animals require, and, as such, many rabbits end up abandoned and in shelters following this holiday.
There are many myths floating around about rabbits, including that they make fantastic pets for children, and require little in the way of attention, food and space. Unfortunately these are just that, myths. Rabbits are rather fragile, physically, and must be held in such a way as to support their legs and backs, which are prone to breaking. It is often very hard for children to do this successfully, and to be as gentle as rabbits need. Rabbits also need a wide variety of supplemental foods in their diet - such as tasty fruits and vegetables. The pellets that can be purchased at a pet store are not meant to nutritionally support a rabbit alone. These cuddly creatures also must be able to move around, stretch their legs and get enough exercise - a small cage will not cut it. Their living space also must be cleaned regularly.
Pet rabbits require a decent amount of attention. While rabbits are not quite like dogs and cats, they still thrive on human interaction and do not like to be ignored and left alone. Unfortunately, many rabbits given as pets around Easter end up being ignored once the excitement of having a cute, fluffy bunny wears off.
While, yes, rabbits are symbolic of Easter and are quite adorable, it is important to remember that they have specific needs, and are not simply just "easy" pets to take care of. Say no to giving rabbits as pets this Easter in order to reduce the number of animals being neglected and abandoned in the months to come.