"Easter Bunny"
by Mary Brandolino

In memory of all the bunnies we couldn't save.
--------------------------------------------------------------
I remember Easter Sunday
It was colorful and fun
The new life that I'd begun
In my new cage.

I was just a little thing
When they brought me from the store
And they put me on the floor
In my cage.

They would take me out to play
Love and pet me all the time
Then at day's end I would climb
In my cage.

But as days and weeks went by
I saw less of them it seemed
Of their loving touch I dreamed
In my cage.

In the night outside their house
I felt sad and so neglected
Often scared and unprotected
In my cage.

In the dry or rainy weather
Sometimes hotter sometimes colder
I just sat there growing older
In my cage.

The cat and dog raced by me
Playing with each other only
While I sat there feeling lonely
In my cage.

Upon the fresh green grass
Children skipped and laughed all day
I could only watch them play
From my cage.

They used to take me out
And let me scamper in the sun
I no longer get to run
In my cage.

Once a cute and cuddly bunny
Like a little ball of cotton
Now I'm grown up and forgotten
In my cage.

I don't know what went wrong
At the home I did inhabit
I just grew to be a rabbit
In my cage.

But they've brought me to the pound
I was once loved and enjoyed
Now I wait to be destroyed
In my cage.

HE'S NOT A CHILD'S TOY.
HE’S A REAL, LIVE, 10+ YEAR COMMITMENT.

It’s Easter time again. Pet store windows are filled with adorable baby bunnies. Your kids are begging you to buy one. It’s so hard to resist. After all, you think, wouldn’t this be the perfect, low-maintenance “starter pet” for a young child?

Think again! Every year, many thousands of rabbits are abandoned to shelters or released outdoors (a sure death sentence for a domestic rabbit) often because of misunderstandings on the part of the parents who bought them for their kids.

Rabbits are prey animals by nature. They are physically delicate and fragile, and require specialized veterinary care.

Children are naturally energetic, exuberant, and loving. But “loving” to a small child usually means holding, cuddling, carrying an animal around in whatever grip
their small hands can manage— precisely the kinds of things that make most rabbits feel insecure and frightened. Rabbits handled in this way will often start to scratch or bite simply out of fear.

Many rabbits are accidentally dropped by small children, resulting in broken legs and backs. Those rabbits who survive the first few months quickly reach maturity. When they are no longer tiny and “cute,” kids often lose interest, and the rabbit, who has no voice to remind you he’s hungry or thirsty or needs his cage cleaned, is gradually neglected.

Parents, please help. If you’re thinking about adding a rabbit to your family think about this: pet rabbits have a lifespan of 7-10 years. Don’t buy on impulse. Wait until after the holiday. Make an informed decision by learning about rabbit care first.

Consider adopting a rabbit from your local shelter or rescue group. For the rabbit’s health and well-being (as well as for your child’s) make sure an adult will be
the primary caretaker and will always supervise any children in the household who are interacting with the rabbit.

Domestic rabbits are inquisitive, intelligent and very social by nature. A rabbit is a delightful companion animal as long as you remember:  He’s not a child’s toy. He’s a real, live,10 or more year commitment!

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON RABBIT CARE AND ADOPTIONS IN YOUR AREA, CONTACT YOUR LOCAL HUMANE SOCIETY

or VISIT THE HOUSE RABBIT SOCIETY AT WWW.RABBIT.ORG

In Missouri, contact:
House Rabbit Society of Missouri
http://www.hrsmostl.org

Easter Bunny
“Cost Comparison”
Cost of Purchase/Continued Care

Live Rabbit                  Plush Bunny Toy                         Purchase Price
$35 - 100                                                  $35.00
Cage
$80 – 200                                                      N/A

Food/water Crocks
$15 - 20                                                         N/A

Litter Box
$10 - 12                                                       N/A

Nail Trimmers
$7 - 10                                                           N/A

Brush
$6 - 10                                                          N/A

Food (3-month supply)
$25 - 30                                                        N/A

Vet Visit/Health Exam
$45 – 60                                                        N/A

Spay/Neuter Surgery
$150 - $400                                                    N/A


* Initial Costs
$373 - 842                                                  $35.00                       
                       
Ongoing Costs of Care
Live Rabbit                    Plush BunnyToy

Annual Vet Check
$80 - $200                                                       N/A                                                    

Average “problem” vet visit
$300 - 700                                                    N/A                                                   

Annual Food Costs
$180 - $285                                                    N/A                                                     

** Average Annual Costs
$560 - 1185                                                   N/A                                                        

Lifetime Costs of Care
Live Rabbit                  Plush BunnyToy                          
Life Expectancy
8 – 12 yrs                                            1 – 2  yrs.
Total Average Costs
$7,662                                                      $35.00                                                        


* Cost figures and concept provided by: Debra Doerfler, San Diego House Rabbit Society ** Figures updated for 2008 cost of living and medical increases.
Thinking of getting a Rabbit just because it's Easter ?   Please read the articles here and reconsider.