As Easter draws near, many parents begin to purchase traditional Easter goodies for their children. As a kid, I always loved the solid chocolate bunnies…(not the hollow ones, thank you very much!) My sister loved Peeps, (which I was never a fan of.) We were very fortunate and always awoke Easter morning to find big baskets filled with all of our favorite treats and a few surprises! Even though the Easter Bunny was good to us year after year, my sister and I would always say we wanted a REAL bunny for Easter! We certainly weren’t “pet deprived” kids, we always had dogs, cats, fish, a ferret, a parrot, you name it! We were an animal loving family, but my Parents taught us that adopting a pet was a big commitment, one that should last the lifetime of the animal.
Yes, bunnies are cute and cuddly and every child would like a companion to cuddle and hold. The fact is, contrary to popular belief, bunnies, like most small animals are not an appropriate pet for young children. The exuberance of even the gentlest child is very stressful for a sensitive rabbit. They are not a passive pet and feel frightened when held or restrained. These pets are not low maintenance and require a diet rich in fresh greens such as Romaine lettuce (never iceberg) spinach, kale, parsley, dill etc. Rabbits do not eat just carrots! Carrots are loaded with sugar and consuming too many can lead to diabetes. In regard to their health care, bunnies and rabbits are considered an “exotic” and need to be seen by Veterinarian that specializes in such animals, which basically means they are very expensive when they become ill!
Rabbits are the 3rd most surrendered animal to shelters, especially after Easter! People buy them for their children on IMPULSE, the kids get bored with them, the parents don’t want to take care of them, and a couple weeks later, they are at the shelter with the rabbit. Some shelters don’t have a no-kill policy. So that’s where all the rescues and sanctuaries come in – the places that are already full after dealing with a year of hoarding situations, breeder problems and dumping in general.
Think before you buy. Adopt a Flat Bonnie (shown above) while you research rabbits. And then ADOPT instead of buying from a breeder, or worse, a pet store!
Wishing you all a Happy Easter!-Jamie