Saturday, March 22, 2008

Just Say NO to Easter Bunnies!

10 Reasons NOT to Buy a Rabbit for Easter

1. Baby rabbits are fragile mammals that are usually taken away from their mothers before they are fully weaned. Once placed in a pet store or feed mill environment (usually at the age of 3-4 weeks!), they become stressed, sick and can die. Their immune systems are not fully developed until they are six weeks of age.

2. Rabbits mature sexually as early as three months of age and can have offspring even though they themselves are still "babies". People often purchase two rabbits and keep them together not realizing that they can mate and produce offspring that quickly.

3. Male and female rabbits will mark their territory by spraying their surroundings with urine. This behavior is undesirable, smelly and messy and can be prevented by spaying the female and neutering the male.

4. Rabbits are not a "low-maintenance" mammal. They require daily care such as making sure they have appropriate amounts of food and water, must be kept in a safe housing environment, played with, socialized with the family, groomed and taken to the vet for yearly checkups. The cost of a checkup at the vet is usually $45. To spay or neuter is at least $90!

5. Rabbits, if kept outdoors in a hutch, will die of loneliness, heat stress or other diseases that can occur. They will also become very unsociable and will not trust their "owners".

6. Rabbits that are not spayed or neutered can and often do become aggressive not only towards one another but also their human companions. They can lunge and bite causing deep wounds. Rabbits, however, do not carry rabies and do not require vaccinations.

7. Rabbits require a specialized diet consisting of fresh greens, good quality pellets, hay and fresh water at all time. They require constant monitoring to ensure that their health has not been compromised because of a poor or inconsistent diet.

8. Rabbits are fragile physically. If you pick up a rabbit the wrong way, you can cause permanent or even fatal damage. Small children especially are not suitable caretakers for rabbits. They tend to drop the rabbit, pull it's legs (dislocating the hips) and poke at it's eyes/ears - both very vulnerable sites on a rabbit.

9. Rabbits cannot voice their opinion of how they are cared for - except when they scream. Since they are quiet, they are considered "dumb". On the contrary, they are intelligent and gentle creatures that can sense danger and react accordingly.

10. Rabbits are easily stressed and can lose their lives if frightened or forgotten about.

Our volunteer group has rescued over 1,000 domestic rabbits in the Dallas Ft. Worth area over the last 15 years - and most were “Easter Rabbits.” If after reading the above 10 reasons not to buy an Easter Rabbit you still want one of these beautiful creatures then PLEASE adopt. Contact your local animal shelter or a local rabbit rescue group.


For more information, please visit the Make Mine Chocolate campaign -- because the best Easter bunnies are the ones found in the candy aisle!

Note: this will remain at the top of this blog page through Easter. This is really a crucial message, so I want to make sure it gets as much on-site time as possible. For newer content, please scroll down.


Princess Jami said...

Poor sad little Easter bunnies. /sniffle

Julie said...

We had a rabbit that just wandered in one day and decided to stay. It lived outside in the yard for at least 6 years before it passed away a couple of months ago. It had chickens to socialise with (and pinch food from). Never wandered off so it must have been happy enough out there.

BunGirl said...

LOL Julie -- it was probably quite content to share a yard with chickens!

Jami, don't cry! There are rescues (like mine) out there after all! We just want to avoid having any more homeless bunnies than there already are!

jan said...

I know all that you say is right, but I have a memory of an Easter bunny my parents bought me when I was a child.

Buck lived for years hopping all over our yard. Dogs and cats were afraid of him because he was big and scary because he would suddenly hop and they would run away.

Jay said...

Also, easter bunnies are a pagan symbol of the Germanic goddess Eostre, bringer of the Spring Equinox!

ChewMouse said...

THANK YOU for a well-thought-out article! For some reason, I've been the recipient of dumped animals my whole life (which is fine, I will care for anything/anyone that needs it) and rabbits/chicks are the Easter gifts that upset me so much.

Make mine chocolate and I simply MUST get a new toothbrush!

Be nice to mice, too!

BunGirl said...

Jan -- how wonderful that Buck found a loving home! I wish this were the case in the majority, rather than the minority of Easter Bunny stories!

Jay -- I'm with you there, but the article itself is actually written to appeal to both those who celebrate Easter from a sacred viewpoint, and those who celebrate it on a more secular level. I'm pretty sure that would not be a compelling reason for the second group.

chewmouse -- A big thank you to you for taking care of all of the little critters who need someone to love them. Chocolate and a toothbrush sounds like a perfect Easter basket to me!

Rebecca said...

I'm all for chocolate bunnies. :) Thanks for letting us know more about these creatures.

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