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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

  • Several rabbits were among more than 180 animals rescued from a suspected puppy mill in Arkansas. Meredith Lee/The HSUS

  • After a stay in the temporary emergency shelter, the rabbits were healthy enough for travel. Meredith Lee/The HSUS

  • The rabbits were transported to the Washington, D.C., area and transferred to local animal shelters for adoption. Meredith Lee/The HSUS

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 shelters. 

Less lucky than those in shelters are the pet rabbits released outside to fend for themselves (unlike wild rabbits, domestic rabbits rarely survive for long when abandoned outdoors). While many people are tempted to purchase baby rabbits, chicks and ducks around Easter time, when these animals are heavily marketed by breeders, these pets require dedicated, consistent care, and far too many end up in shelters and sanctuaries.

If you're sure a rabbit, chicken or duck is the right pet for you, look up adoptable animals at your local animal shelters and rescues to find your match.

More ways to help rabbits

Looking for a pet?

Find your perfect match at a local shelter.

Shelter Pet Project
can help.