Five reasons not to buy a bunny for Easter

A white and a brown rabbitRabbits are wonderful pets, but their needs and temperament are different from those of dogs and cats. Acquiring a pet rabbit should be done with all the care, forethought and preparation you would employ in bringing home any new family member.

Please resist the temptation to surprise the kids with a live Easter bunny. Same goes for chicks, ducks and other living signs of spring!

However, if you do want a rabbit for a family pet and not as a holiday novelty, the very best thing you can do is to adopt one from a local shelter or rabbit rescue organization (and of course the Bunny House at Best Friends has marvelous companion rabbits ready to hop home!)

If you work with a rescue, they can help you with all you need to know about creating a safe environment and a loving home for your bunny. If you adopt from a shelter, you should read the great article “Bringing Home a Bunny” by Debbie Widolf, manager of the Rabbit Department here at Best Friends.

Here are five reasons to adopt rather than buy a pet bunny:

1. Sad but true, rabbits are the third most euthanized animals in our nation’sWoman holding a white rabbit shelters, right after cats and dogs. Many of the bunnies dying in shelters are the result of a well-meaning but not well-thought-through gift.

2. Rabbits, especially baby rabbits, are very fragile animals and are not really suitable pets for small children. A good rabbit rescue will help you bring home a bunny that is just right for your family.

3. If not handled properly, rabbits can be easily injured or injure a child. While kids love to cuddle bunnies, most bunnies don’t really like to be held because it deprives them of their only means of defense, which is to have their speedy legs firmly on the ground. A frightened bunny, struggling to free himself from being held in a painful way, can scratch or bite.

4. Rabbits breed like, well, rabbits. Pet bunnies need to spayed or neutered, and a good bunny rescue will make sure that the one you take home is already fixed.

5. Until there are No More Homeless Pets, there is no good reason to ever buy a rabbit.

For more information on bringing a pet rabbit into your home, check out the the Best Friends Resource Library: You and Your Bunny.

Julie Castle with Sunny the dog
Julie Castle
Best Friends Animal Society
No-Kill 2025