In spite of the fact that I’ve eaten way more than my fair share of Cadbury Crème Eggs over the past however-long-it’s-been since Easter candy hit the shelves, the holiday itself kind of snuck up on me. Since I don’t really partake in the religious aspect of Easter, for me it means a copious amount of sugar ingestion. Aside from all of the scrumptious sweets, fluffy bunnies and cute baby chicks are everywhere. I’m sure someone is also shopping for the perfect bonnet to wear to church or the annual egg hunt. Unfortunately, others are planning to purchase real live versions of the animals that have become symbolic of this springtime celebration…bunnies.
The idea sounds cute enough, right? An actual Easter Bunny in the basket on Sunday morning. Honestly, no, it doesn’t. Much like the overabundance of giving Dalmation puppies to kids as Christmas gifts after the1996 remake of the film 101 Dalmations, some people think it’s festive to buy live bunnies, in addition to the chocolate ones. Many of those folks don’t understand that this is not a good idea and most of the rabbits given on Easter end up in shelters, much like the spotted pups did.
Two Los Angeles based organizations, Found Animal Foundation and PetSave Foundation have teamed up to provide education about rabbits and what it entails to own one. They also promote adopting as opposed to buying a bunny. Rabbits can, and often do, make wonderful pets. Like with any animal you might decide to bring into your home, a little education first goes a long way in terms of making the lifelong commitment your new four-legged family member deserves.
According to the Found Animal Foundation, the following information is good to know before making the decision to get a pet rabbit, especially as an Easter present:
- After cats and dogs, rabbits are the third animal most frequently surrended to shelters.
- 95% of bunnies purchased at Easter are later abandoned.
- 90% of the Easter bunnies end up homeless or even die from being let go in parks, etc.
- Underage bunnies, at 3 months old, are often sold before they fully wean at 8 weeks.
- Rabbits can reproduce starting as young as 3 months old and potentially have a litter of 12 every 28 days!
- Rabbits can live 10-15 years when cared for properly, much like cats and dogs.
Personally, I’ve never had a rabbit, but know friends who do and enjoy them very much. They can make wonderful pets and can even live as “house rabbits” and be litter box trained. I recently adopted a couple of guinea pigs and having never had them before, I did a lot of research beforehand. In this day and age of the internet, it’s really not that hard to get the facts and determine if a particular animal will fit your lifestyle and the level of commitment you are willing to make.
If you are considering getting a rabbit, and agree to the “Adopt! Don’t Shop,” take a look at the Found Animal Foundation’s live streaming “Bunny Cam,” which will broadcast through Easter. Every fluffy critter you see is available to adopt in Los Angeles through PetSave Foundation’s Rabbitat. Having gone the adoption route for four of my five pets, I can attest to not only the warm fuzzy feeling you’re sure to experience, but the fact that there are some amazing animals out there in need of a home.
But, if you MUST purchase a cute, soft bunny for Easter, why not get the ones covered in yellow, pink, or blue sugar with a squishy center. Sure there are stuffed animals, but for my money Peeps® brand marshmallow bunnies are the way to go. Save the baby bunnies and have a delicious treat all at the same time! Now I know some of you are turning up your noses and saying, “Ew.” If you find that you end up getting Peeps® in your Easter basket, feel free to forward them on to me and Lucinda here at LA Metblogs.
Did you ever receive a pet for Easter? Even a bunny couldn’t top the best thing I ever got in my Easter basket–tickets to a Shaun Cassidy concert when I was in second grade!