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Posted: 04/07/12 12:04 PM ET

Easter 2012: Pet Bunnies Are Cute, But Consider This Before You Buy

From Vetstreet's Michelle Leifer:

With Easter nearing, it can be tempting to buy a furry bunny to round out your child’s holiday basket.

But, as adorable as they are, rabbits are more than just a seasonal decoration or a toy. When uninformed owners are faced with the reality of caring for their new pet, that cute bunny all too often ends up in a shelter.

To get a better sense of what to expect, Vetstreet asked Mary E. Cotter, Ed.D., who runs the New York City–area chapter of the House Rabbit Society (HRS) and serves as the vice president for the international HRS organization, to give us the lowdown on bunny ownership. Here are things to consider:

List and captions courtesy of Vetstreet

1. Rabbits Have Long Lifespans
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Bunnies can live seven to 10 years -- and some even hit their teens. "This is not a quick fix for a lonely child," Cotter says. "You need to think long term and realize that a full-grown pet requires devotion and care."

And just like puppies and kittens, your little Easter bunny won't stay small for long. "Make sure your family won't lose interest in the rabbit as soon as the novelty wears off," Cotter adds.

In short: If you're looking for something to fill an Easter basket, you're better off with a bunny that's made of chocolate.
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Filed by Jessica Leader  |