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Rabbits - The Easter Bunny

A full time cage is not appropriate for rabbit care
A full time cage is not appropriate for rabbit care
Diana David, Diana's Rabbit Rescue

Despite the popular advertising at Easter, rabbits and small children do not go well together. Children tend to see a bunny as another stuffed toy. Rabbits can become terrified when held tightly, and can become disabled if not held properly.

The most common reasons for surrendering a rabbit companion are the inability to care for the rabbit or declined interest in the animal. Many people that adopt their first bunny are under the impression that rabbits are passive, cuddly, easy to care for, and take little effort for their care. These mistaken ideas are what lead to homeless rabbits. Unfortunately, there are many caregivers that lose interest in their rabbit companion and “set them free” outdoors instead of taking the time to find a new home or shelter. Setting a domestic rabbit free outdoors is a death sentence for a rabbit. They usually suffer terribly, and are killed by predators within 72 hours.

There are not many actual figures kept on rabbits surrendered by their caregivers, but in 2008, House Rabbit chapters across the country report handling up to 35,000 pet rabbits each year. Rabbits are the third highest companions surrendered each year - dogs and cats coming in first and second - and the spike in abandoned rabbits appear to come after Easter and Christmas. Taking in any companion animal requires thought and research prior to the adoption. There are many good articles about the care, housing and health of rabbits. Please do your research prior to adopting a rabbit companion.

The House Rabbit Society asks that you pass on this poem to anyone thinking of adopting a rabbit as a gift.

I remember Easter Sunday
It was colorful and fun
The new life that I’d begun
In my new cage.

I was just a little thing
When they brought me from the store
And they put me on the floor
In my cage.

They would take me out to play
Love and pet me all the time
Then at day’s end I would climb
In my cage.

But as days and weeks went by
I saw less of them it seemed
Of their loving touch I dreamed
In my cage.

In the night outside their house
I felt sad and so neglected
Often scared and unprotected
In my cage.

In the dry or rainy weather
Sometimes hotter sometimes colder
I just sat there growing older
In my cage.

The cat and dog raced by me
Playing with each other only
While I sat there feeling lonely
In my cage.

Upon the fresh green grass
Children skipped and laughed all day
I could only watch them play
From my cage.

They used to take me out
And let me scamper in the sun
I no longer get to run
In my cage.

Once a cute and cuddly bunny
Like a little ball of cotton
Now I’m grown up and forgotten
In my cage.

I don’t know what went wrong
At the home I did inhabit
I just grew to be a rabbit
In my cage.

But they’ve brought me to the pound
I was once loved and enjoyed
Now I wait to be destroyed
In my cage.

by Mary Brandolino