In the spring of 2006, Mr. Bunny was a tiny bundle of soft white fur with pretty pink eyes, and mom just had to have him as an Easter present for the kids. “It seemed like the thing to do,” that same mom explained as she surrendered him to the local animal shelter in the fall. Mr. Bunny had, in the meantime, grown into an 8.5-pound adult New Zealand who was a lot more work than she'd ever imagined. What's more, he didn't care to play with her kids and would nip when they poked at him. “What can I do?” she asked as she handed him over. “You can tell everyone you know exactly what you told me,” the shelter admissions counselor replied. “Tell them that if they wouldn't want the kind of commitment a dog would require, they shouldn't get a bunny, because having a bunny is just as demanding as having a dog.” Mr. Bunny has joined the all-too-many rabbits at the shelter, waiting and hoping for a loving, permanent home. And the kids have learned that animals are disposable.
An Unnecessary Death
Smiles of delight were the likely response when a beautiful, white rabbit was brought to her new home. We don't know this with absolute certainty but we do know that this same rabbit ended up dead at the age of 3 1/2 months. Given her age and the timeframe (three weeks after Easter), we are reasonably confident that she was an Easter rabbit.
She was found at the side of a road by a Columbus House Rabbit Society volunteer who immediately took her in for veterinary care. Her condition suggested that she had not been loose for very long but she clearly was in trouble. She was listless, unable to keep her head up, and her breathing was raspy.
The source of the problem soon became clear: A puncture wound in her neck caused by an outdoor or household predator. Regardless, the rabbit was abandoned outside by the same people who had assumed responsibilty for her care a few weeks earlier. Sadly, she died within hours of her rescue.
Please help us prevent this from happening to other rabbits. Spread the word: Easter's no fun for a real bun.