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Animal Rescue Organizations Urge Caution Against Easter Bunny Purchases


Pickaway County –

As Easter approaches, animal rescue organizations across Southern Ohio and beyond are issuing a familiar plea: refrain from buying or adopting bunnies as Easter gifts for children.

What may seem like a well-intentioned gesture often leads to the abandonment of these animals when the novelty wears off and families realize they are unprepared to properly care for them. This year, advocates are urging more people to show compassion and reject the idea of treating living rabbits as Easter toys.

“Rabbits are not disposable props, toys, or gifts,” emphasized a spokesperson from the Bunny World Foundation. “They are highly sensitive, fragile, intelligent, high-maintenance companion animals who need and deserve responsible adopters ready for the 10+ year commitment of proper care.”

Every purchase of a rabbit from breeders or sellers perpetuates the cycle of suffering for these animals. Advocates emphasize that refusing to support these practices is key to ending the cycle of harm.

Rabbits require careful attention and are not low-maintenance pets. They need proper feeding, cleaning, and humane indoor housing in a bunny-proofed environment. Veterinary care can also be costly. Furthermore, they may not be suitable pets for small children, as they respond best to calm energy and can become easily frightened by hyperactivity.

In light of these concerns, rescue groups and animal control officials recommend opting for stuffed toy bunnies or chocolate candy rabbits instead of live animals for children’s Easter baskets.

While retail sales of rabbits, dogs, and cats are prohibited in California, direct sales, including online transactions, are still allowed. Additionally, illegal street sales occur in urban areas, where baby bunnies may be deceptively marketed as adult “dwarfs.”

For those considering adopting a bunny, experts offer some basic guidelines:

  • Keep domestic rabbits indoors at all times.
  • Provide a diet of unlimited timothy hay and daily portions of leafy greens, pellets, and alfalfa hay for rabbits under 6 months.
  • Avoid keeping rabbits in cages; they require space to hop around and exercise.
  • Regularly groom rabbits to remove excess fur and trim their nails.
  • Be mindful of their chewing habits and keep them away from potential hazards like electrical cords.
  • Seek immediate veterinary care if a rabbit stops eating or appears to be in pain, as they can deteriorate rapidly without proper treatment.

Not every veterinarian is experienced in rabbit care, so owners should identify a nearby vet they can rely on in case of emergencies.