While the Easter holiday or a visit to the Detroit Zoo's Bunnyville might have some kids hankering for a bunny of their own, local rabbit rescue centers warn bunny lovers to do some thinking before taking the leap.
Rabbits and baby chicks might seem like good Easter companions, but around the holiday they are often purchased as gifts for kids who don't understand the amount of care that goes into having a pet.
Donna Cracker, president of the volunteer-run, non-profit Rabbit and Small Animal Rescue in Westland, Mich., recommends spending some time researching and talking to experienced rabbit owners like shelter workers before deciding to adopt a pet.
"Rabbits aren't for everybody," she said. "We need someone responsible [that] understands it's a living creature that needs time and attention for its entire life."
While that's true for all pets, rabbits are particularly fragile, and can be hurt when picked up. Most don't like to be held, Cracker said, because as animals of prey, they get frightened.
"It's like us against a black bear," she explained. "Would you want a black bear holding you?"
Cracker was adamant that bunnies should be kept inside, because they can get dangerous parasites in the grass, and need to be fed hay and vegetables, rather than just pet store food. She recommends spaying and neutering, which can improve bunny behavior and protect the animals from illness. For more rabbit care tips, see HuffPost Green's Six Things To Know About Bunnies.
But while having a pet rabbit takes some work, there are plenty of upsides. Rabbits are intelligent, can do tricks and even perform happy dances. Cracker said the best way to woo a bunny is to play hard to get and let it come to you.
"Each one is so different, but they can be your best friend," she added.
If you're still looking for a furry friend after the Easter glow passes, there are several local shelters that have rabbits looking for homes. Below, see a photo gallery of bunnies at Rabbit and Small Animal Rescue, and visit the shelter online to find out more about the adoption process and how you can help. They can also be reached by email.
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