How to get a pet bunny — or three

Three red-eyed albino rabbits are adopted by one family who fell for their sweet and gentle personalities.
By Christelle L. Del Prete

About a month before Christmas, Alex Anderson decided to visit Best Friends Animal Sanctuary to adopt a bunny for her family of three. At the Bunny House that day, she met lots of adorable, adoptable rabbits, but it was a friendly trio of snow-white bunnies that made her heart skip a beat.

Adopting a rabbit times three

The three bunnies were so endearingly gentle and sweet that Alex fell for them almost immediately. The fact that they were all white rabbits with red eyes only added to their appeal. Alex knew that albino rabbits are sometimes skipped over for adoption because not everyone finds red-eyed bunnies irresistible. But she certainly did, and she knew that her husband, Cleve, and their five-year-old daughter, Diem, would agree.

When Christmas came, there were three pet bunnies under the Andersons’ tree — one for each member of the family. The only family member not already in on the surprise was Diem, who, once she found out, adored the new family members immediately.

Thinking about adopting a rabbit as a pet?

Pet bunnies begin idyllic life

That’s how the bunnies now named Pancake, Ella and Snowflake began their idyllic new life as beloved pet rabbits. Even though the Andersons built them a large, predator-proof bunny house in the backyard with a cozy, insulated box to protect them from cold and heat, the rabbits get lots of indoor family time and sleep inside when the weather’s not so nice. They’ve even befriended the family’s gentle cats.

Tabby cat rubbing up against a white rabbit while young girl watches

White rabbit and white cat nose to nose

At first, the family could only tell the bunnies apart by looking very closely at them. Snowflake was the easiest to pick out because she’s slightly bigger than the others and has a crooked ear. “Now that they have settled in,” says Alex, “their personalities have really come out.” Pancake, for example, is the most adventurous of the three, while Ella is a bit shy; however, when they are offered some treats of dried apple, all three will happily eat out of your hand.

Tabby cat with mouth open next two two white rabbits, with young girl Diem behind them

Teaching children about rabbit adoption

The triple bunny adoption has turned out even better than Alex imagined. “It all worked out perfectly and the bunnies are so much fun,” she says. Though she and Cleve adore their new pets, the sweetest thing has been Diem’s devotion to them. Part of the reason they wanted to adopt a rabbit was to teach Diem the responsibility of caring for an animal. As it turns out, she’s exceeded their expectations.

“I knew she would love them, because she has loved animals all her life,” Alex says, “but I didn’t realize how much care she would put into them.”

The experts at the Bunny House have taught the Andersons all they need to know to provide an excellent home, great nutrition and loving care to the rabbits. Now, they are sharing that knowledge with other children and families. When Diem’s friends come to visit, they get to meet Pancake, Ella and Snowflake and learn a little about them. “We try to turn it into a teaching experience,” Alex says.

The family couldn’t be more thrilled, the bunnies are blossoming in their new home, and every adoption means that the Bunny House can save a rabbit in need. Sometimes, the very best things in life really do come in threes.

Donate to save more pets like Pancake, Ella and Snowflake

Diem, a five-year-old girl, on a bed with white rabbits, with one jumping off

Photos by Molly Wald