Once again, we find ourselves on the eve of Easter. Stores are overflowing with the images of this rite of spring. I urge anyone tempted to bring home living bunnies to please stop and resist that temptation. Shake off the intoxicating fairy dust of the holiday and educate yourself.
Tragically, most â€śEaster presentâ€? bunnies will be abandoned or die within their first year due to lack of information or compassion by their human caregivers. Of those that arenâ€™t gone within that first year, most will be relegated to a life of solitary confinement within wire mesh, with little to no exercise and a steady diet of stale pellets and water, existing like that for years â€” a life of utter nothingness.
Rabbits are intelligent, sensitive animals that live in family groups, pair-bonding for life. Wild rabbits and indeed, domestic rabbits, need a great deal of exercise. I have rescued rabbits that have been caged so long that they can take only a few hops before lying down. Rabbits are a lot of work, either a labor of love or an imposition, depending on your relationship.
If you are committed to caring for a new bunny as a family member and not a childâ€™s possession, wait until after Easter and adopt from a rescue agency, such as Bunnies Urgently Needing Shelter in Santa Barbara, which has already neutered the rabbits and pair-bonded some. Compassion and information are all you need to share a wonderful life together. See http://www.rabbit.org or http://www.bunssb.org.
â€” Mona Mansfield-Erhardt, Ojai