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This website is devoted to the care and well-being of all rabbits, and focuses on pet rabbits kept as indoor members of the family.

Last site update: Wed Feb 25 01:52:51 EST 2015

The end result of too many

Alternative gifts

Bunnies at Easter: A Sad Story

Easter Bunnies in Exile

Easter Gifts Result In Summertime Orphans

HSUS Discourages Impulse Purchases of Live Animals for Easter Gifts

Bunny Fever: Don't Catch It!

Flyers for Easter and Bunnies Don't Mix

The Perfect Easter Bunny (pdf)

Easter's A Killer For Us (pdf)

Make Mine Chocolate!

Check out my book on pet rabbit care and socialization, and I'm always updating it. The book is copyright-protected but available for free, though I request a $1 donation for the bunnies and for my efforts. C'mon, what's a buck?

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:

Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRwZgVwn5SI

Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_DVmqx__BEg

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:

  • The rabbit dies within weeks, from unintentional neglect or cruelty, due to mishandling, improper diet, unrecognized illness, etc
  • The rabbit is kept in an outdoor hutch and forgotten about, and lives a substantially shortened life from lack of care and love (see housing)
  • The rabbit is kept caged indoors with no opportunity for exercise, and lives a shortened life from atrophy and general distress (see health and playtime)
  • The rabbit is set loose outside (this is a death sentence - the average life expectancy for a domestic rabbit released in the wild is three days, and it dies a horrible death from predators or thoughtless humans)
  • The rabbit is brought to a shelter, where chances are good it will be euthanized if no one adopts it quickly
  • The rabbit is killed by its owner because it is an inconvenience (see the alerts page for some examples of this)
  • The rabbit dies before its first birthday, usually due to ignorance or improper care

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.

This poem eloquently illustrates the life of many rabbits from their point of view. This story is another eloquent example of what many bunnies endure.

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:

  • Give a chocolate bunny instead!!
  • Give a stuffed plush toy!!
  • Sponsor a rabbit in a shelter or rescue
  • Foster a rabbit to find out if they're the right pet for you


Recommended Reading:

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


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Last update: Wed Feb 25 01:52:51 EST 2015