Over the next few weeks, thousands of local adults will be tempted to buy an Easter rabbit for a beloved child, godchild, grandchild, niece, or nephew. A few months from now, our local animal shelters will be, as they are every year, inundated by a flood of cast-off bunnies. I would ask that everyone who is considering buying a rabbit this year stop and think about two important facts:

First, although rabbits can make wonderful pets, they are naturally fragile and timid. An active child who expects a cuddly pet can easily terrify or even injure a rabbit.

Second, a well cared for rabbit should live as long as large dog (ten years or more) and will require just as much love, attention, and veterinary care (often very expensive) as a dog or cat would. So don’t give an Easter rabbit to a child unless you know that the child’s parents will be happy to take on a decade-long commitment.

If you want to make a child’s Easter happy, don’t give a live rabbit unless you know it will be loved and cared for throughout its natural life. If there’s any doubt, give a stuffed or chocolate bunny instead.

If in the end you really realy really want a rabbit, get it from a rescue center or a shelter!

Give them a second chance to have a home where they will be cared for and loved for the next decade!