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The Easter Bunny is Not a Pet

April 22, 2011

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Missouri parents: Beware of the Easter Bunny. Don't give children pets as Easter surprises, says Adam Goldfarb, director of the Humane Society's "Pets at Risk" Program. He says generally, people have gotten the message about pets with feathers – but with bunnies, not so much.

"We don't see an issue as much with the chicks and the baby ducks as we used to, but it's definitely still an issue with the rabbits."

Animal welfare experts say rabbits aren't as docile as they look, and they may even bite. So, while parents think they might be fulfilling a young child's dream of owning a cuddly bunny, there's a definite downside, says Goldfarb.

"They might have a very 'cute' Easter – but unfortunately, the novelty of having a rabbit and the reality of caring for them long-term, kind-of wears off."

He urges parents to do some research so they have a realistic idea of what to expect if they decide to have a rabbit join the family. Some consider them "high-maintenance" pets, and they often live more than ten years.

Heather Claybrook, Public News Service - MO