A real, live bunny may seem like a cute, cuddly Easter gift for child, but animal-welfare groups are cautioning Iowans to stick to the chocolate ones.
Susan Mangold of the Columbus House Rabbit Society in Ohio said she co-founded the “Make Mine Chocolate” campaign 15 years ago as a way to reduce the number of rabbits coming into their care, especially when they were an impulse purchase.
After Easter, Mangold said, local animal-rescue groups often are inundated with rabbits whose owners decide they don’t want them. Her message, she said, is that animals aren’t disposable, and she recommended that Iowans stick to chocolate bunnies.
Tom Colvin, executive director of the Animal Rescue League of Iowa, noted that bunnies can make great pets, but they may not be the right fit for every family. He strongly urged that folks do their homework.
If the new owner of a bunny is struggling, Mangold said, a local rabbit-rescue organization can help by either offering support so the animal can stay in the home or locating a foster family.
Mangold said an estimated four out of every five bunnies given as Easter gifts are abandoned or die in less than a year.