Easter is tomorrow and we’ve all been bombarded by images and advertisements featuring bunnies, chicks and all other sorts of animals. Many families see this time of year as a good time to buy or bring into the home a rabbit, but there are a host of issues that come from this decision. Easter bunnies often become more trouble than anticipated, end up in shelters like Flagler Humane Society or abandoned.

Rabbits require much more care when first thought about, especially when made as an impulse decision. They are also thought of as good “starter pets” which is far from the case. First, a rabbit hutch has to be cleaned daily and the majority purchased online or in pet stores are made from low-quality wood that rots within a year or two. Most are too small because rabbits need at least a 6X3X3ft hutch plus a similar sized run.

The majority of Easter bunnies end up surrendered to shelters often when they grow into adulthood or if children and families lose interest. According

Chocolate Bunnies

to the Huffington Post, “Almost 80 percent of bunnies that are up for adoption at shelters were once purchased as Easter gifts.”

This is even true here locally. “Just over 40 percent of all rabbits surrendered at the shelter last year came in a month before or after Easter,” said Amy Carotenuto, Flagler Humane Society Executive Director. “Parents sometimes think a bunny or rabbit might be a good first pet or way to teach their children how to care for a pet, but once they’re no longer cute and cuddly and prove to be too much to handle they get surrendered to us.”

The worst thing that can happen to Easter rabbits is being abandoned or let loose. These animals usually end of as prey food for predatory animals or hit by cars. Pet rabbits have flashy coloring and can’t hide well and have no strong instincts to keep themselves safe.

They are groups around the globe that have created public awareness campaigns to highlight the problems that come from adopting or buying an Easter bunny. The House Rabbit Society in Albuquerque placed ads on city buses saying a chocolate bunny last 10 minutes, but an actual rabbit lasts 10 years.

A British rabbit welfare group called Make Mine Chocolate has launched a campaign to encourage people to buy chocolate rather than real bunnies. “This is the time of year that many people rush out to buy a bunny,” Lisa Whitty of Make Mine Chocolate told the Examiner.com. “Within a few months of Easter, the already over-stretched rabbit rescue centers are then inundated with unwanted bunnies.”

So if you are thinking about purchasing or adoption a rabbit or bunny for Easter, make sure to look at all the pros and cons. More than likely a chocolate bunny might be a much better choice.