Make Mine Chocolate (TM)
The House Rabbit Society strongly urges parents not to buy their children a live “Easter bunny” unless they are willing to make a 10-year commitment to properly care for the animals.
Each year, thousands of baby rabbits, chicks, and ducks are purchased as Easter gifts only to be abandoned or left at shelters in the days, weeks and months that follow Easter.
Margo DeMello, president of HRS, encourages rabbit lovers to support the “Make Mine Chocolate” ™ campaign created by the Columbus, Ohio, chapter of HRS .“Rabbits are not ‘low maintenance’ pets,” says DeMello; they require at least the same amount of work as a cat or dog, and often more. Chocolate rabbits are a great alternative; kids can enjoy them for 10 minutes, and they won’t have to take care of them for the next 10 years.”
Mary Cotter, vice-president of HRS, says that many of the rabbits purchased as Easter pets will never live to see their first birthday. Some will die from neglect, while others will be abandoned in local parks or left at animal shelters.
“It is irresponsible for pet stores to push rabbits and other so-called Easter animals during the holiday,” says Cotter. “Unless parents are willing to take full responsibility for the possible 10-year lifepan of a live rabbit, they should buy their children chocolate rabbits instead.” It is unreasonable to expect a small child to make a 10-year commitment to taking care of a rabbit. All too often, the child loses interest, and the rabbit ends up neglected or abandoned.
Does this mean no families with children should never have pet rabbits? “Not at all!” says DeMello. “But what it does mean is that parents must be actively involved on a daily basis, and willing to supervise any interactions between rabbits and children. Otherwise, chocolate is the way to go!”
If you think you would enjoy sharing your home with a rabbit, please contact STEM BUNNIES to foster a bunny and see if this is merely a fun phase or if you are truly interested in a decade-long connection.
No matter where you live, you are probably within 10 miles of a rabbit who desperately needs a safe forever home... If you are not sure you can make this kind of commitment, please consider buying your child a chocolate bunny this Easter instead.