Easter is nearly here and you may be thinking of purchasing a bunny rabbit for a child (or for yourself). Who can resist a fluffy bunny, right? But as with any other pet, rabbits require proper care. That means being able and willing to purchase the food and supplies it needs to survive, ensuring it has appropriate veterinary care — including getting it spayed or neutered — and teaching your child how to handle it the right way.
Impulse purchases — particularly those involving pets — are a bad idea. Many sanctuaries and shelters are already putting the word out to adults: please do not purchase rabbits to give as Easter gifts. Your heart may be in the right place, but rabbits are not a low-maintenance critter. The APSCA offers a comprehensive list of things to keep in mind when getting a bunny or rabbit as a pet.
Still dead set on getting that bunny? Okay! Well, before you purchase a rabbit, consider adopting. Remember all those discarded rabbits available at shelters, sanctuaries and rescue groups all across the country? Some of them are available for adoption. Check out shelters and rescues in your area.
One safe haven for rabbits and other exotic pets is Critter Camp Exotic Pet Sanctuary. Located in Northwest Illinois, the sanctuary is home to 350 homeless unusual pets, all of which were abandoned, neglected or abused. The no-kill shelter cares for everything from guinea pigs and rats, to foxes, hedgehogs and, of course, bunnies.
The group maintains a strong online presence and uses its Facebook page to raise the $350 per week it needs to feed all the critters they take in. Along with caring for unadoptable exotic pets, the sanctuary provides tours as a means of educating prospective pet owners, current owners and the general public.
So remember the commitment required of you when you become a pet owner — even if it’s “just a bunny.” If you don’t think you’ll be able to take on the responsibility, then consider getting your child (or yourself) a chocolate or stuffed toy bunny instead. If you can, then please consider adopting a homeless rabbit rather than purchasing one. And the same goes for chicks, too. They aren’t toys, so get some Peeps or toy chicks instead!