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Before You Hop out and Adopt... Get the Facts about Bunnies for Easter

The East Bay SCPA and the East Bay Animal Rescue don’t recommend rabbits as holiday gifts

Easter is fast approaching and among the traditions of colorful eggs and jellybeans tucked in the annual quintessential Easter basket, there is all too often a live rabbit given to youngsters.

Laura Fulda, the director of marketing and development at the East Bay SPCA, says those contemplating a rabbit adoption for the Easter holiday should reconsider.

“The biggest misconception is that a bunny is a good pet for small children,” said Fulda. “They require a lot of special care. People get a rabbit with good intentions. They soon tire of the animal and realize it has a lot of issues, including vet care and specific dietary needs. Then people drop the bunny off to a shelter or in a field.”  

“All shelters see ‘ex-Easter bunnies’ and we want to make sure people make an educated decision,” continued Fulda. “We encourage people looking for a bunny to think twice before adopting. Instead, we recommend a plush toy or chocolate bunny as a gift and a book about bunny care. If the child is still interested and the parent thinks they are mature enough, then they should consider rabbit adoption.”

Joan Wegner, of the East Bay Rabbit Rescue, says that “no animal is a good gift.”

“[Those adopting] have to be committed to having a rabbit for their lifetime,” she said. “Rabbits can be as much work and as much expense as a dog or cat.”

According to Wegner, bunnies are a lot of commitment, a lot of work and people must know what they are getting into.

“We always screen extra hard and we recommend all bunnies be spayed or neutered,” she said. “Bunnies can live anywhere from eight to twelve years.”

Fulda says people should know what having a rabbit entails.

“Heat can kill a rabbit. They can also frighten to death if approached by a dog, cat or raccoon,” she said. “We recommend a cage that is four times the size of the adult rabbit. It should not have a wire bottom and it needs room for a litter box, food, water and toys.”

According to Fulda, unspayed or unneutered rabbits can spray and tend to nibble.

“It depends on the rabbit but spaying or neutering can help stop those behaviors,” she commented.

Wegner says that when people are sure they are ready to adopt, using a rescue or shelter is more affordable and helps pair potential pet owners with rabbits best-suited to their lifestyles and personality.

Wegner recommends affordable clinics such as the For Paws Clinic in Fremont for spaying and neutering.

Rabbit Haven and House Rabbit Society are great websites for those interested in rabbit information,” said Fulda.

Youtube has some links to help you decide it a rabbit is right for you family.

Watch "Is a rabbit the right pet for you?" and "Caring for a rabbit."

"Juls in the house " April 04, 2012 at 04:34 PM
Great story ! Darling photos !!! I had bunnies growing up and every Easter my mom would take them out of the cage and put them all on my bed and say "Happy Easter".... :)
Mrs. Brown April 04, 2012 at 05:07 PM
Great article. I work at an animal hospital and have had many types of animals in my lifetime. My bunny is by far the most expensive and time consuming to care for. I love her lots but I definitely underestimated the level of care bunnies need even having an animal background. They are great pets if you are willing to make the commitment to time and proper care for them. That being said I recommend everyone to research any new pet before bringing one home. Make sure they fit into your lifestyle and your finances too.
Autumn Johnson April 04, 2012 at 08:00 PM
Thanks for the comments! Great info!
::thumbs up:: April 05, 2012 at 01:14 AM
I'll tell you that I have personal experience with rabbits. My 9 year old daughter called me about 2" years ago because she was at an adoption event with my wife at the Pleasanton pet shelter. She wanted to buy a bunny for $20. I told her no. Somehow she managed to talk my wife into bringing home this rabbit even without my approval. As we were new to the bunny raising activities, for me, the thrill quickly dissipated to frustration. Within two weeks of being at our home, my 3 daughters played and fed this poor rabbit until she wound up having digestive issues. Long story short, the first Vet visit was over $600! Since then, it's been another $600 at least in Vet bills but mainly for checkups I believe. More money goes out the door for food, treats, toys, etc. The family has learned about the proper food and eating habits so that make things a little easier. She mainly spends her winters in our garage, then spends the summer at our parents home indoors because its cooler. When we let here run around in the home, she eats base molding, electrical cords, TV remote and anything else she can get to to shave down those front teeth of hers if we don't keep a close eye on her. So my daughters $20 has equaled a few thousand dollars for me to date and she is still active and cute as ever, but not my first choice as a pet. Our dog and cat are much easier to maintain and less demanding as far as work goes. Unless your willing to put in the time and money, choose another pet.

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