Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way.

When the Easter Bunny Comes Home …

The following article was written by youth marketing coordinator and proud rabbit “parent” Courtney Smith.

The candy is eaten, the colorful baskets are stowed in the attic, and the tiny frilly socks and poofy pastel dresses are thrown in the back of the closet. The only semblance of Easter that remains are a few plastic eggs that are still MIA in the yard and a lonely bunny who went from celebrated icon to old news before he was just 2 months old.

That is how I found my second rabbit, Little Bun, who is now the life partner of my first rabbit, Edwin. Little Bun was crammed into a tiny cage in a photographer’s dark corner closet, thrown away like a set prop. His brothers and sisters were given away to parents who wanted to stuff them in baskets as a “surprise” for their children. He was only 2 months old and was already all alone and ignored.

However, his fate is not the worst of all the bunnies who are impulsively purchased in the sugar- and cottontail-induced frenzy that is Easter. Some do not find good homes. Many are turned over to animal shelters after kids grow bored with them, or, worse, they are let outside to be “free” and are very quickly hit by cars or eaten by other animals.

The truth is, rabbits are not good pets for children. They are nothing like the precious E.B. from Hop whom your children are imagining when they beg for a bunny. Even the Hop website has put a disclaimer discouraging viewers from running out of the theater and going straight to the pet store to buy their own “rock ‘n’ roll bunny.”

Real rabbits don’t play the guitar or the drums. They are prey animals and are therefore very scared and skittish. They don’t perform in rock concerts, and they usually hide during the day. Sometimes the only way you know that they have come out is that they have chewed something up, like your shoe or the wall.

If you can’t imagine the thought of having a somewhat anti-social, skittish, and possibly expensive (can you say specialty vet bills?!) little fluff ball of destruction hopping around your house for the next eight to 10 years, get your kids a chocolate version of their new favorite bunny instead!

If you find that you still want to give a bunny a good home after your candy has digested, there will be plenty of rejected Easter bunnies who will need loving caretakers in the next couple of months. Head to your local animal shelter and adopt!

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  • bob says:

    that bunny so cute! what the?

  • Tyler says:

    If you get a chocolate bunny make sure it is fair trade as humans are animals and slave labor is not humane. To learn more about chocolate slave labor visit: http://www1.american.edu/ted/chocolate-slave.htm

  • Savannah says:

    My rabbit companion , Usagi, is my best friend on this entire planet. I love him so much. You wouldn’t believe how many people were at my local rabbit shelter wanting to get rabbits for Easter. Good thing that the store is very reluctant on selling animals during Easter week!

  • hdmorse76 says:

    Ok first the author had amazing points. Just bc ur rabbit is fab they’re not for everyone was the point. Also I too had issues with PETA I wouldn’t go as far as Eco terrorist but I thought they had a skewed vision of the truth roaming the site I realized I was the ignorant one. I agree don’t buy any holiday pet or hot dog bc of a movie ie Dalmation craze. Be responsible. Be kind to furry friends!!

  • Saga says:

    It’s so sad to read… I wish people would understand that animals are NOT to be given to children unless an adult is willing to take care of its well-being. I have two adopted rabbits – the other one I adopted from an animal shelter and the other from a girl that didn’t have enough time for her pet. They’re both very adorable and I can’t even imagine giving up on them, abandoning them.

  • Ryan S says:

    Ms. Smith,

    I just had to write to say that you have single-handedly made me reconsider my position that PETA is chock full of hypocritical eco-terrorists. This is a well-written piece of advice, and a touching story, and I’m glad Little Bun found a wonderful, caring home with you. Thank you for being a wonderful human being.

  • Alexandra says:

    Hi, i highly disagree with this article. I Have a pet rabbit that i love so much! He snuggles with me and licks my face. I got him in november. Is this article basicly saying that rabbits do not make good pets? Because in my opinion they do.

  • Josine says:

    Fluff balls of destruction they are! But I do love my two bunnies with all of my heart. Good thing to add is that bunnies need to be with at least one other bunny, because they live in groups in their natural habitat. There are a lot of bunnies out there living a very lonely life, alone in their cage. All your love can’t replace the company of a fellow bunny… at this very moment Flopsy is washing the ears of Sophie, adorable :)

  • Ellie McCaffrey says:

    No pet should be bought specifically for children until they’re old enough to understand responsibility. Childrens minds are too immature.Next week they want something else.

  • Carmen R Gagliardi says:

    SORRY RABBITS DO MAKE GREAT PETS,DONT NO WHY ON THIS PAGE IT SAYS THEY DONT,,IVE HAD MY LITTLE GIRL FOR A YEAR SHES TRAINED AND SLEEPS WITH ME AND SHARES A HUGE ROOM WITH ME, SHES ALMOST LIKE A CAT/ DOG ITS VERY FUNNY,SHE NOS WHEN I SAT DO YOU WANT A TREATY AND NOS WHEN I SAY APPLE SHE LOVES THEM, SO TO SAID THAT YOU ARE WRONG…..THATS ALL

  • Maxy says:

    My daughter has got a dwarf rabbit so cute loving and sweet and he is treated like a king . She takes good care of him and i am dreading the moment when he has to do to a better place as it will be very hard for her to accept

  • Katharina says:

    It’s not just bunnies–don’t by ANY pet for Easter or otherwise unless you are prepared to care for it properly for the rest of its life. This article, http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory?id=13257679, for instance, recommends goldfish bowls–bad idea! Here is an editorial I wrote in response: http://www.patriotledger.com/opinions/letters_to_the_editor/x719610585/KATHARINA-BROWN-Quincy-Suggesting-goldfish-instead-of-bunnies-on-Easter-was-ill-advised

  • Foffie's mom says:

    I rescued an angora, female bunny from people who could no longer take care of her. She is high maintenance and has shown to be quite destructive. Vet bills are high for rabbits because only a select vet with experience will see your bunny! Specialists get big bucks in all areas of medicine. She’s beautiful, trainable, very messy (they deposit their “pills” everywhere) and sometimes loveable (bunnies are very independent)so be sure you get a book and study up before making that choice of pet. I agree, they are NOT for children, or teens for that matter.

  • chelsie sullivan says:

    i love bunnys and my mom always taught me to treat animals right.i found a bunny that i want to adout that no one else wants till i saw him.

  • Mouse says:

    Great article, I’ve added part of it (and a link to your website) on my blog. Happy Easter :)

  • Mrs. Mercer says:

    Great piece of advise….. I’m glad that little bun has a good home with you now.

  • Hannah D says:

    Just got a bunny last week and I love her to death!

  • Hannah D says:

    Just got a bunny last week and I love her to death!

  • Katherine says:

    Great post Courtney. :-) I miss Edwin and Little Bun. I hope they are doing well.

  • VeggieLiz says:

    I totally agree. I have a number of rescue rabbits who were dumped by owners that got bored, and whilst they are amazing companions they take a lot of work. Its far too easy to buy a ‘pet’ on a whim and then neglect or abandon it.

  • mistymoon says:

    SAme thing happend to me 2 Easters ago i found a white rabbit and he was so scared i took him in gave him a home.. i litter trianed it spent a lot of money he only lived 2 years i was heartbroken seems like he wasn’t as healthy as i thought he was the time he spent with whom ever may have proven fatal and sadly parents think its cool to surprise their kids with a bunny and have no clue how hard it is.. Im vegan and i loved all the hard work i did for him. and terribly miss him but i wont run out and support the domestication in small apartments or homes that don’t intend to provide a natural loving responsible bunny owner they are intelligent but wild and do as they want.Im glad you are helping him great post!

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