Skip to Main Content

‘Easter Bunnies’ Drown in Rhode Island Mall

Written by PETA | April 5, 2010
Photohound / CC by 3.0

Last Thursday, four rabbits in a Warwick Mall photo studio reportedly drowned in the floods that have been ravaging Rhode Island. Although the mall had been evacuated two days earlier, the bunnies—whom Portrait Simple studios was using as props for in-store Easter photos—were left behind in their cage on a “high shelf” in the studio. When employees returned to the studio two days later, they discovered that the cage had apparently fallen from its perch and that all the rabbits had drowned.

When PETA first heard about Portrait Simple’s use of live rabbits for photos a few weeks ago, we contacted the studio and the store’s director of operations told us that the rabbits were “well cared for, played with, coddled, and loved by our team members.” Now, in the aftermath of these preventable deaths, we’re asking the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to investigate and if appropriate revoke Portrait Simple’s exhibitor license in order to ensure that a tragedy like this never happens at the studio again. You can help by contacting Portrait Simple and asking it to implement a “no animals” policy at its stores.


Commenting is closed.
  • Emma J says:

    I understand that the deaths were very easily preventable but i think having their license taken away is a bit extreme. If the animals had shown signs of being abused or neglected then yes, by all means but from what i’ve read, they were well treated. It was just how carelessly they were left there before the flood that bothers me.

  • pauline says:

    m. darkley, you said it all. peta does a great job but we need to do ours as well. i like to have hope for mankind to care about our world and those in it before it’s to late but alas my hope is dwindling. mankind is so greedy nothing else seems to matter. i cry every day for what we are losing our humanity.

  • m. darkley says:

    Par for the damned sick course!! I’m so tired of hearing of the stupidity pure SELFISHNESS of humans their greed laziness seem to have no damned end. As for bunnies for children 10 up only I question if even that is old enough my 15yr old niece while spending the night told me how she forgot to give her bunny its water in the middle of Arizona’s unbearable summer heat and said she was near death by the time her her grandmother found the poor suffering thing. When I took my niece home mentioned to the mother that she had shared this with me Mom immediately made excuses about the rabbit’s age health already being bad an even better reason to make damned sure the poor thing had water!!!! And damning proof that Mom truly knew that the final responsibility lay at HER own feet as it does at every parent’s who purchase pets for their children. The daughter had a better sense to take responsibility for her actions than had her own mother or at least she had until her mother sat there boldfaced lied about the situation taught her daughter there was no real need to belly up to the guilt table for ONLY a mere animal!. I am tired of rodents of all types from mice which I have had to rabbits being soldpurchased as “BEGINNER PETS”. There’s no such thing!! And least of all these intelligent highly active creatures. All that salesconvenient term means is that the tiny animal is ‘polite’ enough to be quiet when it suffers small enough to shove in a cage and be left to die on its own without having to interrupt your schedule instead of like a sick cat or dog that might disturb the household with its howling vomiting diarrhea and insensitive limping pained expressions and so forth that leave us having to actually DO something or worse yet actually FEEL something. As mentioned these ‘beginner pets’ are some of the most active creatures on earth to coop them up is cruel. They need DAILY exercise and not just a wheel and things to keep their little amazingly intelligent curious minds alert interested. Each Every Day they need time OUT of their cages in a safe enclosed environment to hoprun and explore. I had one rabbit in my life found in our rose bushes and only got to keep her for a short time until my brother convinced my mother to let him give it to someone who had better means to take care of it never mentioned to us that this family kept the rabbits for food. I was told I could go feed it daily. It wasn’t a week before the rabbit had ‘disappeared’. I still am bothered with heartwrenchingly sick thoughts of what happened to that poor loving trusting creature some 35 years ago. Enough is Enough people. When are we going to finally get it? Animals aren’t toys. There not for us to buy so we have someone to love us we get them so WE HAVE SOMEONE TO LAVISH LOVE ON!! Off subject but maybe divorce rates wouldn’t be so high if we learned this lesson early in life we are made to love not run about trying to force others to love us love flows smoothly quickly to those who love. There are difficult expensive responsibilities that come along with the ownership of any animal and I don’t just mean food water there are vaccinations vet bills medications xrays tests kennel fees for vacations if you must leave them behind! grooming costs and then when that sad time comes a humane death and proper respectful burial or cremation. I’m so tired of hearing of small pets being thrown out with the garbage like so much useless waste no wonder kids grow up with no sense of fairness towards our brother and sister creatures. They suffer and fear pain death almost as we do I say almost for we worry in advance they live in the moment so fear these things in the moment they experience them but they still suffer through them. When you’ve helped a beloved pet through his final breaths you’ll then know without a doubt the ridiculousness of denying their fear pain. All I can think about is how much those bunnies must have jumped leaped about in their cage as they could sense and see the water rising around them so much so until their cage fell for I doubt even these idiots that left them behind left the cage in a way that it could have easily fallen on its own. Please let us stop relying on PETA to do all our work by all means send them support but stand up be heard call your papers news stations write blogs speak out pray fight back go out and find the abuse and stop it!! The abusers will only finally stop when they know without a doubt that others won’t stand for it that they’ll have to deal with others face to face when they’ve ignored the safety of animals. They continue to do it get away with it because too many people just don’t give enough of a damn to actually stand up DO something. Let’s all stop talking begin ACTING!! Not to be overly morbid but I hope every one of those parents who put both those innocent bunnies AND their very own just as innocent children at risk of physical harm by allowing their children to be photographed with a live baby bunny have a distinct memory now of what that poor ‘easter bunny’ looked like floating dead uncared for in a mall storewhat a lovely PROP for easter photos Happy Easter Memories Idiots!! Besides Easter isn’t about bunnies do your reasearch the inclusion of rabbits are a leftover of PreChristian Pagan celebrations Christianized by Roman leaders which were celebrating spring rites the god Oster Oshter. God gave us animals that would serve us and I believe these angelic beings are more than happy to sacrifice themselves for us but come on! There must be a return of the love and a TRUE respect for their sacrifices with AT LEAST humane and loving treatment while alive and a death that is as humane as possible. Stress causes disease cancer in the human body we then are stupid enough to completely over stress these poor loving animals and then actually eat their poisoned flesh in the hopes it will nourish us??? Give me a break… you’re eating poison with each fork full. Fight for humane treatment of these wonderful beings and no more treating them as holiday toysandor mealshow many ‘easter bunnies’ have already been thrown out the back door with the stale jelly beans fake grass this year I wonder? M. Darkley

  • EMMA SMITH says:


  • adge says:

    Why do people treat buns as expendable? Makes me sick I have a trio and they are part of the family only the best for buns

  • Carolina Gautam says:

    This makes me so sad

  • Leslie Hathaway says:

    SherryI feel exactly how you do. Knowing that animals are being slaughtered in such a violent way has left me very upset. This needs to stop now.

  • kris shulfer says:

    another reason to call humans ignorant and inhumane!!!!

  • Laura says:

    who would do that? rabbits are for the age 10 and up and normally little kids are all over bunnies and its NOT okay!

  • Sherry Elston says:

    I cannot believe that in this time we live in there are still humans out there who continue to do these Corporations “dirty work”. Does no one have a heart? How can you look into the eyes of an animal then slit it’s throat and skin it alive??? Watching it kick and fight in vain for it’s life. I cannot get over this and have regular nightmares about it. But I can donate to PETA and pray they can make mountains move.These procedures are atrocious and I can hardly bring myself to watch them the last time I watched a program on TV about dog facility on HBO a couple of years ago I had a seizure and had to be taken to the hospital. Thats the kind of effect this cruelty has on me. Maybe I’m over sensitive but I cannot help it. I’ll do all I can to help out march in protest donate money ..whatever. But I can’t watch the senseless slaughter of animals. Yes I am a vegeterian….forever. Sherry Elston

  • D'Laine Borden says:

    I can’t believe they left the bunnies there!! what stupid jerks. and to use real rabbits in a photo? I have owned many a pet rabbit in my day and yes they are not kid friendly kids like to put fingers up to a rabbits mouth and well rabbits like to nibble could be cause of a child getting bitten and the poor rabbit being killed. When are people going to learn animals are not props or toys.

  • Carla says:

    Human beings are the ultimate disgrace to this earth it’s animals. This damn store should be shut down.

  • Caroline Kropka says:

    I am appalled that they left them there to begin with don’t get me started on the drowning part. The irresponsible behavior of Portrait Simple’s employees is horribly cruel. Why have animals if you can’t take proper care of them??

  • Tammy says:

    Poor bunnies. This is so sad.

  • JJ says:

    Animals shouldn’t be left unattended at nights or weekends. What if there was a fire? A break in? But animals are not toys. Rabbits bite kids because they are afraid. Then there are lawsuits. How could this crazy company even thought about using real rabbits?

  • Judy Coleman says:

    These people shold not have live animals they can’t be responsible for.

  • Brien Comerford says:

    This is an unpardonable abomination. They exploited these rabbits and then caged them thereby giving them no chance to live. Humans are the devils of this planet and animals are the tortured souls. Who can dispute the fall of man. More human reprobates than human humanitarians on this hellish planet.