Two years ago I wrote an essay for a college English 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 2, 2013 – see FaceBook Event Page for more information.