April 11, 2014
Thinking About Buying a Rabbit for Easter? Read This First
If you're ready to add a rabbit to your family, adopt from an animal shelter or rescue
When rescuers arrived on the scene of a suspected puppy mill in Jefferson County, Arkansas, the 121 dogs on the property were not the only animals in need of aid. Several rabbits were among the dozens of other animals rescued that day—many of them living in feces and filth, without access to clean water or food, and suffering from medical problems.
For animals kept in breeding mills, such conditions are not uncommon. Mill operators profit from the demand for baby animals, while thousands of adoptable pets wait in animal shelters for loving homes. After cats and dogs, rabbits are the animals most commonly surrendered to animal shelters.
Many of those surrendered rabbits filling up shelters and rescues were likely Easter gifts once themselves, given up after the novelty inevitably wears off and the reality of long-term pet care sets in. Less lucky than those in shelters are the pet rabbits released outside to fend for themselves (unlike wild rabbits, domestic rabbits can't survive on their own outdoors). Chickens and ducks, the other Easter basket mainstays, also require dedicated, consistent care, and far too many of these birds end up in shelters and sanctuaries in the weeks after Easter.
More ways to help rabbits
- Look for the Leaping Bunny logo on cosmetics and personal care products, which indicates that the product was not tested on rabbits or other animals.
- Ask your legislators to support the Humane Cosmetics Act to end animal testing for cosmetics.
- Find humane ways to keep wild rabbits out of your vegetable gardens and flower beds.
- Sign the Humane Backyard pledge and provide habitat for wild bunnies and other critters.