Friday, April 22, 2011

Rabbits make great pets ... But not at Easter

A wild rabbit on the coast in Oregon
Wild rabbits are easy to see on the Oregon coast (but not so easy to photograph).
Take a quick spin through the heartbreaking pets section of Craigslist this morning and you'll see ad after ad full of baby rabbits for sale. People are encouraged to give their children rabbits as Easter gifts. Even the Oregon Humane Society, surprisingly, is getting into the act and is encouraging people to come to OHS and "learn more about rabbits" at an event tomorrow.

I agree that rabbits make wonderful pets. I had a rabbit as a pet when I was a kid, and he was a wonderful companion, both sweet and smart. But he was also a lot of work. He had to be fed at least once per day. His water had to be changed daily. His hutch had to be cleaned at least once per week. He needed weekly brushing, and often he needed to have his toenails trimmed.

He could also be a nuisance. He ate the bark off our trees, dug holes in the yard and broke into the garden and ate a significant amount of our vegetable crops.

In short, a rabbit shouldn't be an impulse purchase. This is a living creature that can be a part of the family for a long time. You'll have to feed it and house it and give it veterinary care every day, not just on Easter. It will need training every day, not just on Easter.

To repeat: It's a living thing.

To find out more about rabbit care, click on this link.

Please don't buy a live Easter bunny. Visit wild bunnies at the Oregon coast. Eat chocolate bunnies. Pet stuffed bunnies. But please don't treat the live versions as throwaway holiday art.