When people bring a bunny into their home on Easter, they usually don’t stay there very long. In fact, almost 80 percent of bunnies that are up for adoption at shelters were purchased as Easter gifts, MyFoxPhilly.com reports. Sick and tired of these furballs ending up in the wrong hands, artist and mother of 3 boys Kate has used her pet rabbit Maurie as an example to show the things one has to think about before getting one.
Rabbits are the third most popular pet in America, after cats and dogs, according to the Humane Society of the United States, and the third most abandoned. Most people have an idea of how long cats and dogs live, the kind of care they need, their behaviors. But rabbits? Not so much.
“Bunnies grow very quickly, and they’re not tiny and cute for very long,” Carolyn Gracie of Main Line Animal Rescue told the news source. “Often after a very short time, people abandon them and they end up in shelters, or worse.”
Jennifer McGee, co-manager of the Georgia chapter of House Rabbit Society, a shelter in the southeastern part of the state, told National Geographic they normally receive one to two calls a week about abandoned rabbits. But in the six weeks after Easter, the shelter gets three to four calls a day.
And although rabbits can make delightful companions, they’re not easy pets. Not surprisingly, vets and insurance companies consider them exotic pets. That means their medical care can be more expensive than for a cat or dog. Rabbits also need a lot of exercise and shouldn’t live in a cage. This means they need to learn to use a litterbox, which takes patience, just as it does for cats. They’re also prey animals and generally don’t like to be picked up by humans; they prefer to be in control, their feet on the ground.