Easter & Appeal to the Clergy
Easter is a very sad time of year for bunnies and bunny lovers.
It's a sad statistic, but 90% of all bunnies given as Easter gifts are euthanized within the year, after the children grow tired of them. Many of the rest are abandoned or surrendered to shelters or rescues. Believe it or not, we start getting "dump" calls on Easter night from people who got rabbits for their children and now the children are tired of them. Ugh!!
Although bunnies are celebrated as part of Easter, the sad reality is that most people don't know what they're getting into when they give or get a pet rabbit on a whim, and shortly after the novelty wears off and they are left caring for an animal they didn't really want.
In 2009, Martha Stewart did an excellent segment on bunnies, and you view the video (in two parts, due to a commercial interruption) via these links:
Letters to the editor about Easter and bunnies that have been previously published can be found here and here, and some sample letters you may want to use to write your own letter can be found here and here. You are also more than welcome to use our own open letter to Clergy as a template if you want to approach the clergy on this matter.
The end result of almost all Easter rabbits is usually one of:
In the months that follow Easter, rabbit rescue groups deal with one emergency after another, and a great many rabbits lose their lives because of the ignorance and thoughtlessness of humans.
Shelters and rescue groups have tried to educate the public about this plight. Pet stores have tried to educate the public, and indeed some halt sales of rabbits prior to Easter. Individuals distribute flyers and try to pass the word. Unfortunately, sometimes a bunny's cute and cuddly-looking face turns well-educated people into blithering idiots, and then the reality of caring for a bunny turns them into cruel and heartless people.
We propose turning to the clergy. Priests, ministers, preachers, anyone who addresses the masses that celebrate Easter - these are the people who can effect a change. They can lead their congregations in a celebration that doesn't have such unfortunate long-range results. Please consider talking to your clergy, or sending a letter like this to any clergy members you may know.
Some alternatives to getting a real bunny on a whim for Easter:
The House Rabbit Society's article on why you shouldn't give bunnies for Easter
VetCentric's article on why you shouldn't give bunnies for Easter
The House Rabbit Society's press release on the plight of Easter bunnies
The Humane Society's article on the plight of Easter bunnies
PETA's article for parents considering getting a bunny for their children for Easter
The House Rabbit Society's page of flyers you can distribute about the plight of Easter bunnies
The Minnesota House Rabbit Society's flyer on Easter and bunnies
Bunny Bunch's flyer on Easter and bunnies
The Columbus House Rabbit Society's campaign to give chocolate bunnies for Easter