As Easter approaches, many people will be buying gifts of chocolate, candies, colored eggs, lilies and many other presents. Unfortunately, this sometimes includes a live rabbit as a gift.
Too often, people purchase them, thinking they are an appropriate gift for a small child. Many of these pet rabbits die within six months as a result of poor diet and unhealthy conditions. Others suffer injuries from being handled incorrectly. When they mature and hormones rage, that sweet little bunny may turn into a “furry Godzilla” by biting and chewing on everything in sight. By this time, if it is not confined permanently to a small cage, it is often abandoned outdoors where chances of survival are very slim.
Despite common marketing by pet stores, rabbits do not like being kept in hutches or small little cages. For proper health, they need lots of daily exercise and a diet rich in timothy hay and greens and herbs. Carrots are only a treat. Rabbits are actually quite complex and intelligent creatures that can be litter-trained, spayed or neutered, and taught to respond to vocal commands.
Rabbits can make wonderful pets if the owner keeps in mind that they can live over 10 years and are not the ideal pet for a youngster. Sadly because of the “Easter rabbit obsession,” too many of these lovely creatures end up as rescues looking for new homes. Please, if you wish to have a rabbit as a pet, do your research and consider adopting a rescue from a local organization. Otherwise, consider giving chocolate or toy rabbits as gifts instead. Here’s to making Easter a wonderful and enjoyable holiday and giving rabbits the respect they deserve!
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Sincerely, Georgiana Hall (G.G. Hall), Adjunct Faculty, Physics and Physical Science, MDC Kendall campus
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