SARASOTA, Fla. (WFLA) – Animal activists are advising parents against giving live animals to children this Easter.
Many pet stores and shelters advertise rabbits for sale this time of year, but advocates say some parents gladly buy them without thinking of the consequences.
In massive outdoor cages at the Sarasota in Defense of Animals rescue, dozens of abandoned rabbits are cared for. Unfortunately Elise Matthes expects to get more in the next few weeks. “We get them mostly after Easter. People think that they can fend for themselves, so they release the ones they don’t want after Easter,” she said.
Matthes says these critters are cute but are more of a hassle than people realize. So these Easter gifts are often left at animal shelters or abandoned in the wild, where they don’t know how to survive.
“We have a throwaway society. You get tired of something, you discard it and you don’t care what happens to it … It is sad,” Matthes said.
Animal experts say rabbits are fragile and can be easily injured. They also need daily care and attention. They live long lives, multiply and tend to damage furniture. They’re not an ideal Easter gift. “The newness wears off very fast because it is a challenge to take care of it,” Matthes said.
If you do want a bunny, make sure you give it new bedding daily, have lots of space for the animal to get exercise, and make sure its spade and neutered.
Or, you could always settle for a chocolate bunny instead.