Last year I wrote an essay for class that required researching an issue and then drafting a letter to a local newspaper or an official who could address the subject. I decided to investigate the issue of people giving kids live rabbits as a pet at Easter. You can read it as a pdf file here.
Although the total number of live, domestic, rabbits given as a gift seem to be much less than the number of puppies or kittens, those pet rabbits have a greater chance of being thrown out or ignored (left in an outdoor hutch or a garage corner). A domesticated rabbit has virtually no chance of survival in the wild; they will not form a colony as many feral cats do, and are likely to be killed by a dog running wild or large birds. As a parent (grandparent, aunt, uncle, etc) it is our duty not to give a child a gift without knowing and understanding what is involved. My research suggests that rabbits are much more complex creatures than the images found in popular culture; they require and deserve a home that will appreciate them and meet their needs. Please consider giving someone a stuffed toy, a chocolate rabbit, or some other gift.
If you are still interested in giving a live rabbit, please talk to your local House Rabbit Society. If you are in central Ohio, check out the Columbus House Rabbit Society’s annual ‘Make Mine Chocolate event March 10 – see FaceBook Event Page for more information. I have donated a 2 Hour Pet Photography Sitting to their raffle.