Monday, March 29, 2010

A few words about Easter, and Baby Bunnies

A repost of what I wrote last year:


So, Easter's coming up.

I, of all people, am not going to tell you that rabbits don't make good pets. They do. They're intelligent, cute, and fun to have around.

However.

There is always a problem this time of year of people who buy rabbits as pets as Easter gifts, then decide later they don't want them. Then they either give them to shelters, which are already under a strain, or release them into the wild, which is such a sucky thing to do that you're lucky I'm not allowed to use profanity here on DR.

So this Easter, don't suck. Think long and hard before you get any pet, think extra long and hard before you get a rabbit for Easter (and read up about their needs), and if you do decide to commit to a rabbit, get one from your local shelter, rather than a pet store. There's also another site with information about this issue: Make Mine Chocolate.

-Bill

And now, back to your regularly scheduled disapprovals.


These guys are adoptables at Lucky Bunny Rabbit Rescue (Satellite of San Diego HRS). Thanks, Tamara!

I'm going to leave comments open for this one, but please, as a favor to me, don't post horror stories about abandoned rabbits. I can't take it.

48 comments:

musicman511 said...

i have to say my bun is lucky. I bought him while i was lonely at college from a tractor supply store near easter time. I had NO idea what a bunny needed. but i fell in love! and as frustrating as he can be, i've done my best to find out what he needs and provide it as i would if i had adopted a child. That being said, i will never "buy" a bun again after realizing what happens when a bun such as mine is bought by the wrong people. He now has an adopted companion! and they're BOTH trouble! ^_^

Fleetie said...

Quite right, too.

As for this row of disapproving baby bunnies, well, it looks as though they are just starting to realise that they're going to have to put up with stoopid hoomins for the first time! And they don't look very impressed!


Hmm, I'm reminded of the phrase "Hot Cross Buns". I don't know whether they're hot, but they sure look cross!

Tilia said...

Yes, thank you for reminding people pets are a responsibility. You don't buy them on a whim, you buy them because you are willing to give them a good life in your home.
I actually have bought one bunny on a whim, but as I had another bunny already, I knew what it's meant when I made the decision 'on a whim'. So luckily I haven't regretted it and I'll never will because she enriches my life and I'm able to give her a good life with everything she needs. But that's one thing I would never recommend to people, buying pets on a whim. It usually leads to pets living in unsuitable conditions, without the attention they need (after the novelty of them is over) and disappointment because they grew up and aren't as cute anymore.
Another thing I don't agree with is people buying a pet for their children and expecting their children to be responsible for them. Sometimes that works out if you have a very mature kid, but usually it's the pet that suffers for it. If you buy a pet for your child, that's perfectly fine, but you have the final responsibility for it, not your kid. You have to be willing to clean the cage, to pet them, to let them run free in the house, to give them food, to take them to the vet,... Your kid is merely a helper.
Thanks again for this post, I hope it makes some people reconsider buying bunnies (or chicks).

Margaret said...

I absolutely agree. I am the person my shelter calls when they have a bun. They screen bunny applicants, and absolutely will not give a bun (or any animal) to someone who is unsuited for it. So sometimes the buns are in the shelter longer than the shelter personnel would like, and that's when they call me. I love all my buns, and they know it (and take advantage at every opportunity)! But I always tell people, even sometimes when they don't ask, that bunnies are special creatures, and you really have to know what you're doing. They are definitely not for small children. And no animal should be given as a spur-of-the-moment gift, or without much thought as to what their needs are.

Word verification is "submin" for me... quite like "submit", I think. Submit to the will of the bunny!

Malia said...

The bun i adopted was an abandoned Easter bun. He is such a little terror! We named him Attila the Bun and he lives up to his name. He is the cutest little thing though. Every Easter, my roommate and i spread the word to "make mine chocolate."

As far as these little buns are concerned, clearly the one on the right is the destroyer of worlds... and raisins.

Jamis said...

I hope one day Make Mine Chocolate can be across the country on tv, and in all newspapers to spread the word!! I got my bun from a woman who breeds bunnies for shows (Yeah..NOW I know better!) But my guy has taught me SO much, and I'm going to adopt a wifebun for him this summer. (Which will most likely be an Easter bun reject because people stink!) But we will be happy to give a bun a happy home...the problem will be just bringing ONE home... :)

SixBunnies said...

That is some lune up! They all look guilty of taking advantagge of the hoomins by being way too sweet!
Yeah for the Happy Endings! I found one of my little furry hoppers abandoned in a cemetary living in a sewer drain of an old outhouse. I knew she was around because of the rabbit cage I found open under a tree. Went looking and found the most wonderful Japanese Harlequin Lop living next to a bunch of huge snake skins. Saved her just in time! She married to another of my rescues and lives very happily now. Luv the bunz!

SixBunnies said...

Haha! I can't type .. .That is some LINE up!

Sydney said...

We got rabbits as pets for the kids about 20 years ago. I ended up taking care of them, of course, and I fell in love. I have been a bunny mommy ever since!

Renee said...

Thanks for posting the reminder. It is so sad that stupid humans do this to animals. Hoping that all the buns get forever homes.

LindaCTG said...

Thank you so much for writing this & keep up all the good work. You're providing a super valuable service, plus a happy funny way to start a new bunny day.

mum of critters said...

Thanks for the PSA about bunnies especially: So this Easter, don't suck.

I think that nails it! Rabbits are great pets but if you're gettin' one you're keepin it! ;-)

Happy Easter!

Erica Hanna said...

Thanks for reminding people about the Make Mine Chocolate campaign and the importance of not seeing rabbits as some sort of disposable or novelty gift.

I volunteer for the House Rabbit Society, so I see first-hand how many rabbits need our help.

Regarding the picture, I love them! I am raising a litter that was born into a local shelter, and they are so very very cute.

Busby and Raymond said...

Thanks for this PSA. We hope people will read it and not suck. You may want to remind people that chicks and ducklings are not throw-away pets either. (although this blog is not called disapproving fowl)

selkie said...

The Commander was an abandoned dwarf bunny, found by neighbours at a very busy intersection in a KFC parking lot (I kid you not). They gave him to us to find a home - that was 8 years ago. Sadly, the Commander crossed the rainbow bridge just 2 weeks ago and we are still in mourning. His piggy friend, Frappy is not the same at all since his best buddy left.

i can't BELIEVE the idiots that throw the bunnys away like refuse, justifying it that the bunny will know how to "live wild". IDIOTS.

Boopalina luv said...

Here In NY they do run posts in the newspapers about buying bunnies for easter. They advise you to research first b/c it is a long term pet.

Andrea said...

Thank you so much for posting this. I'm going to post it everywhere I can.

I do have a happy story though. My baby girl Lucia, (spotted white dwarf mix) who I adopted from Save a Bunny in Mill Valley, was a "leftover" Easter Bun. When I adopted her she was timid, shy and skittish of all hoomins. I can't blame her! But 2 1/2 years later, she is curious, full of life, very particular about everything like the princess she is, not at all timid...into everything. She even begs for treats! And of course dispproves whenever I try to groom her. After I groom her she sits in front of me making an elaborate show of "re-grooming" herself to show me I have no idea what I'm doing. ;)

I'll send pix of her and her Hus Bun Luke, my other adopted bun. He's a WHOLE POST unto himself. ;)

tamara said...

Hooray! Another person named Tamara who rescues buns!

Tamara in San Diego, I'm Tamara in Seattle, and I help with Rabbithaven.org. We should start some kind of very exclusive society.

Go Tamaras! Go bunnies!

:)
Tamara-in-seattle

KPP said...

Last year, there seemed to be a strange coincidence in the arrival of bunny "starter kits" around Easter time piled up in main aisle at Petsmart. You know, those cages that are barely big enough for a baby bunny. The only useful thing they contain are the water bottle and an actual toy (give it props for having a toy). Petsmart doesn't sell rabbits (I don't think--neither does our local Petcos anymore)...but still the piles of cages. I realize the petstore's job is to make money and all. I just don't think if someone is already looking for a bunny cage, they're going to have a hard time finding it in the regular spot.

I did not write a letter or talk to someone at the time. I do rather regret it. I don't often shop at the big box pet stores anymore.

Kaethe said...

Thanks for posting this. It's an important message for people considering any sorts of animals

Jan said...

You do so much to help our wonderful bunnies. I will tell you a happy tale: I got my Benjamin from B.U.N.S. (Bunnies Urgently Needing Shelter) in Santa Barbara 5 years ago (or rather my son did). It has been a love story ever since. I don't even consider cleaning his litter pan a chore - it is a labor of love!

Chris W. said...

How about happy comments about photogenic buns who have found forever homes after being spotted at a shelter? Both my Kiwi and Lily, who you've so kindly featured on DR were Humane Society bunnehs, and are lavished with attention, hay, greens, and periodically fruit.

Some stupid hooman's loss is my gain, as I've gotten two wonderful companions out of the deal. I win, the bunnies win, everyone wins.

The Bunns said...

Thanks! Many of us were "that sort". Hooray for BL for taking us in.

janet2buns said...

HRH Queen Phoebe and Prince Consort Drizzle disapprove in the strongest possible terms of hoomins who dump bunnies, either at Easter or at any other time. Queen Phoebe blows a Royal Raspberry at the STOOPID HOOMIN who abandoned her: "PPPPTHpbbbbph !!!"

And may I again direct DR readers to www.studiolapin.com. Many bunnies on that site were throwaway rabbits who are now living the good life. Their gorgeousity is STUNNING!

thesea said...

WORD about abandoning bunnies. When I was growing up, every year--as early as May or June, my sister and I would find a beautiful white abandoned rabbit in the neighborhood that we would take in and try to find its owners. It was sad, leaving a little bun out like that is not okay!

I have an adopted rabbit now who is the sweetest, best, thing in my life! I'm so happy I could take her in. I hope other people will consider adoption!

Fleetie said...

Janet : I would love to see Queen Phoebe blowing that raspberry! What a hilarious image!

But she and Prince Consort Drizzle are right: People who do that to bunnies frankly don't deserve to breathe.

Molly Elizabeth said...

I'm glad people know how bad it is to do that. Once a whim at 16 years old I mentioned that I really wanted a rabbit. My friend brought me the cutest little bunny ever. I had no clue what to do with her, and for a long while I couldn't even let her run around my room because I didn't know how to train her. There was so much reading to do for her, and I'm so glad I did it. We grew together every day. She's now allowed to roam my room freely since she's so well behaved. I am still shocked I was able to take care of her by myself at 16 though. She and I have been working together to make a good home for her since the beginning. It's so amazing having a happy rabbit and I'll never be without one again. And I will definitely adopt a sheltered one too. She is the little love of my life!

Molly Elizabeth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
wendy z said...

My little princess-bun was a dumped easter bun, and now she is the undisputed queen of my home. She sleeps under my bed (after hopping up for a good pettin before we both go to sleep)

Boopalina luv said...

They ran an article in the sunday paper one day that rabbits are becoming the third most wanted pet after dog and cat, and it went on to say that a lot more people are becoming aware that rabbits are not for children and are not throw aways. I was quite happy that they are being reconized as a PET. I hope to find the article maybe DR will post it if i can. I never understand why people are so dumb and decide to let them loose, how about letting your child loose in the woods think it will survive? Ok if not your child then how about you beloved fido? domestic is domestic!

Claire said...

Love today's photo. I've been following your site for a week or two and just wanted to say that I really enjoy it.

Purpleprot said...

There are no words to describe people who treat rabbits (or any other animals) as disposable. I think they should be dipped in dried cranberries and fed to the bunnies. And so does Ruby, Supreme Bun Lord of the Household.

Boopalina luv said...

Go newsday!!Easter is coming and visions of Easter bunnies, chicks and ducks grace advertisements and other media.
Many people still want to give their children baby ducks and chicks as Easter gifts to be used for a couple of days like trinkets and then discarded. Laws were passed that made it illegal to sell these birds in any lots less than six to try to prevent this activity, but people will buy six anyway, give away a few to their neighbors and friends and keep one or two to amuse their own children.
Chickens and ducks make nice pets, but do not buy any chicks or ducks unless you want to keep them as pets for their entire lives. There is no mythical farm that you can bring them to when you tire of them where they can enjoy a long and happy life.
The same rule applies to bunnies. They are cute when small but grow up into rabbits that do make wonderful pets but require a great deal of care. And they can live for 10 years, well beyond the time the child you got the bunny for has moved out of the house. Pets are family, and if you have no intention of treating a pet as family for its entire life, then you have no business acquiring it in the first place

Boopalina luv said...

i should mention this article above was published in our paper! yay bunny awareness

Heart of a Cowgirl said...

Thank you for posting about this! I also did a post last "Bunny Sunday" about this very issue. These special little creatures deserve so much more than to be an impulse buy at Easter.
DR makes me smile every day...LOVE IT!

Nancy said...

It's a shame that people aren't required to take some sort of basic test before they're allowed to buy an animal. I think that many of them, if they had the faintest idea how much responsibility goes into taking care of an animal, would walk away.

Spook said...

Such tiny perfect disapproving faces!
Thanks for the bun buying reminder! This is the perfect time of year to spread the word!

Idea: Why not have kids donate time to help bun shelters to celebrate? Bun love *cough* disapproval for all! ;)

Bunnie Momma said...

I have had house bunnies for over 20 years now....20 years mind you BUT every single time I bring a new bunny home I consider it a great responsibility. So much so that my husband laughs and remarks..."honey, what's another bunny? Geeshe Why are you acting so nervous??"
What!? It's a 10, maybe 15 year commitment is what it is! It's late night feedings and potty training...well, maybe not late night feedings...but you certainly have some "training" to do and momma must keep a watchful eye to insure the new edition does not have some naughty habits, we won't go into bonding sessions.
So I just wanted to say that even for me, a seasoned ole goat who's made bunnies a permanent part of her life...each new family member is a big decision and a serious commitment where I intend on caring for him/her for the rest of their life.
My bunnies make my life better!
Bunnie Momma

StephanieU74 said...

well said, Birdchick. As a bunny rescuer, I can't share this message enough - year round!

Crafty Green Poet said...

Our last bunny came from a shelter and our next one will too. Our local City Farm has rabbits one of which was found on a beach but who is now totally integrated with the others and a very lovely rabbit to be around

Plan B Rabbits said...

Rabbits are just inately smart -- to figure out at such an early age that some hoomins just deserve disdain. See? They have on their "disdain" faces already.

sandy outworldarts spartasoap said...

I just want to thank you for posting this each year.

Sandy

Dawn said...

Some of us even take to our soapboxes and preach it wide and far.

http://www.canadamomsblog.com/2010/03/the-hare-truth.html


My fave thing in that piece that I got to write? My vet saying "There is a special place in hell for assholes like that" ...in regards to the people who abandoned our Jackson ( the big grey one in the picture)

Zanthess said...

Pixel has a new friend from an unplanned bunny pregnancy.

After I got the rabbit, I told my friend where to get her bunny spayed and how she can get shelters to help her with it.

Male is neutered now, and we have a bunny named 'Nilla Bean :D

Katie said...

yes I've been preparing to get another bunny. I've had several in my life. Being Easter I know there are so many cute lil bundles of cuteness in petstores but I have to remind myself pet stores are evil and I can adopt in a month or two when people give theirs up.

bee said...

I have some success stories to share, as both my bunnies were rescues of various kinds. The first was Inle, and I rescued her through the bunny bunch out here in cali. She needed a lot of psychological rehab, and I worked really hard to help her feel safe and loved again. She was a great little doe and I am glad I could give her happiness for the last part of her life.

My second bunny was a direct rescue, his name is Colin, and I actually couldn't keep him for more than a little while. However he was a spritely little dude and we did find a very appreciative home for him. He now lives with some friends in New York, and seems to be doing really fabulously.

I'm so glad you mentioned the easter bunny problem on this blog, and I'm even more heartened by your linking to Make Mine Chocolate. I want to extend my intense thanks for spreading awareness.

Gary said...

Our little Buddha -- Dwarf Rabbit, about 5 years old -- was an abandoned bunny who was rescued by a kind person, who did the right thing when he had to leave town to find work; he got him to the wonderful folks at The Rabbit Haven, in Santa Cruz, CA. We saw him and fell in love with him at one of their bunny adoption fairs, along with our younger, full-size rabbit, Lily. They are inseparable best bunny-buddies, and nothing bad will ever happen to them as long as we have anything to say about it!

Lilly said...

The kids wanted to get Grandma a real bunny for Easter - I think because we told them they couldn't get one!

Anyway, I saw that Steuben is offering a deal on their rabbit redux piece. It is a tad pricey - but it is a really special piece of art that she will love - and there is no cage to clean or vet bills to go along with it!

Wouldn't it be nice to see people giving gifts like this, instead of live bunnies & chicks, every time Easter comes around? LD

http://bit.ly/rabbitredux