The Responsibility of Owning a Rabbit

The House Rabbit Society runs a campaign each March to remind people that Easter and Rabbits Do Not Mix.

House Rabbit Society strongly urges parents not to buy their children live “Easter bunnies” 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 . . .

“Rabbits are not ‘low maintenance’ pets,” says (HRS President Margo) DeMello; they require at least the same amount of work as a cat or dog, and often more.”

Julia and I adopted two rabbits the year we got married. We brought Jellybean home in August of 2004 and then added Oreo the following December. Once they were both fixed we put them together and after a short sparring match bonded and have been friends ever since.

Jellybean just turned nine and Oreo is eight and a half. They’re elderly bunnies now. They don’t run and hop and play like they used to, but they’re happy, well fed, and well cared for.

We took the responsibility for them, treating them as beloved family pets not as toys. We give them a balanced diet of mostly hay with some pellets and fresh vegetables, and the occasional nibble of banana for a treat. We keep a clean litter box, brush them regularly, and give them the run of a bunny-proofed living room.

If you’re not willing to take on the responsibility of a pet rabbit, don’t get one. If a child wants a friend to cuddle with, a stuffed toy will do nicely. You can even get a FurReal Friends pet that acts like a real animal. Anna has a dog and a chipmunk, and she enjoys playing with both.

Or do what the House Rabbit Society suggests, and Make Mine Chocolate. But don’t adopt an animal without knowing the responsibility involved.

Easter is one day. A rabbit is ten years.


3 thoughts on “The Responsibility of Owning a Rabbit

  1. As someone who raised rabbits as a kid and showed them at fairs (and ate them for dinner… don’t tell Jellybean or Oreo) I know EXACTLY how much care a bunny takes… we had, at one time, over a hundred at our farm…


    • Of course, we had a few of our breeder bunnies that were “pet-like” because we had them for so long… and we had a couple of lops that were CERTAINLY cuddly pets… But… fur and fricassee were the primary purpose…


  2. xmomof2 says:

    My husband works for our local county shelter and its so true about how many get turned in right after the Easter holidays. So unnecessary! Thanks for sharing this and I will share with some of my readers as well!


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