As the Easter season approaches, animal shelters must brace themselves for the inevitable wave of rabbit surrenders. For decades, parents and grandparents have been buying bunnies for kids simply because they are a symbol of the holiday. Unfortunately, these rabbits are often surrendered months later when their owners lose interest or realize that they lack the necessary time or funds to care for them.
Contrary to common thought, rabbits are not necessarily the “kid friendliest” of pets. They are sensitive to noise, are very fragile and hate to be picked up. Much like cats, bunnies want attention at their convenience and can become aggravated if their humans don’t respect that. Like anything with teeth, bunnies may bite if they’re scared badly enough. A panicked rabbit can also do serious damage with their nails, which require routine trimming.
Rabbits are much more complex and expensive to care for than most people think. They have sensitive digestive systems and very fragile bones that can be broken by an accidental drop. A healthy rabbit requires pellets, plenty of veggies and unlimited access to timothy hay and water each day. Bunnies will also need to be spayed or neutered once they reach adulthood in order to prevent behavioral and medical issues.
Bunnies are fantastic pets for anyone who is willing to be patient and understanding of their needs. Aside from being adorable, they’re smart, affectionate and comical to watch. If you’ve done your research and are willing to commit a decade or more to these lovable critters, Easter just may be the perfect time to bring a rabbit home. Dozens of bunnies in all shapes and sizes are waiting for loving homes at the Western PA Humane Society.
Our rabbits are spayed or neutered, socialized, and often litter box trained. We encourage families interested in adopting to attend our weekly Bunny Romps, where they can learn about rabbit care and meet some adoptable pets. There are phenomenal web resources like the House Rabbit Society website and the Pittsburgh House Rabbit Club Facebook page for new and potential owners.