London

Don't buy pet rabbits for Easter – they'll likely end up abandoned

If you’re looking to buy a cute and fluffy four-legged hopper as a gift this Easter, you should probably stick to the chocolate variety.

'There’s not a lot of information for rabbit owners out there to begin with'

Pet rabbits purchased around this holiday are often times left abandoned, says non-profit rescue agency. (Submitted )

If you're looking to buy a cute and fluffy four-legged hopper as a gift this Easter, you should probably stick to the chocolate variety.

Pet rabbits purchased or adopted around this holiday often end up abandoned.

The problem is becoming so widespread that local non-profit Hoppy Hearts Rabbit Rescue is sounding the alarm.

President Khrystyn Pereira said many pet owners may unintentionally overlook the responsibility that comes with caring for a pet rabbit.

Hoppy Hearts Rabbit Rescue is urging people to avoid buying pet animals as gifts throughout Easter. (Submitted)

"Kids will certainly lose interest in the animal very, very quickly. Especially rabbits, kids really want something they can  cuddle and play with and rabbits are not super cuddly like they're made out to be," she said.

"Then the parents realize their child isn't interested in this and they can't take care of this so they have to get rid of it."

Pereira is pushing for the #MakeMineChocolate campaign that encourages interested shoppers to turn to chocolate or plush rabbits as alternatives.

The #NotJust4Easter campaign advocates on behalf of all live animals as Easter gifts.

There's more to it

What a rabbit cage could look like through Hoppy Hearts Rabbit Rescue. (Submitted)

The non-profit offers adoption, fostering and informational services related to rescue rabbits.

Pereira said volunteers will also play a hand in capturing and rescuing a rabbit — attending to calls anywhere from local parks to busy intersections in London and its surrounding areas.

Last year, the agency answered more than 240 calls.

"There's not a lot of information for rabbit owners out there to begin with," she said. "Or what is out there is a lot of misinformation."

Pereira said they may become destructive if they're not spayed and neutered or cared for properly.

She said rabbits are also highly social creatures that may withdraw from society if they don't have the appropriate amount of space to play.

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