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Tempted to buy an Easter bunny? Don’t do it, CT rescue groups say

Cute fluffy bunny exploring Easter decorations.
Getty Images
As Easter approaches, the allure of purchasing a pet rabbit often captivates many, whether impulsively or as a gift, especially for children.

Easter bunnies may seem cute, but Connecticut rescue groups say it’s a bad idea.

Rescue groups often get calls after Easter from families looking to surrender their rabbits.

“Every year we received dozens of calls from families looking to surrender their animals after Easter,” said Moira Colley, the adoption director at Hopalong Hollow in Norwalk. “They're not props or toys. They are a lifetime commitment.”

While rabbits can become cherished indoor companions, it’s important to understand it takes a lot of responsibility to care for them, she said.

“They are very complex animals; they're extremely sensitive to sounds, so they don't make a good pet for children,” Colley said. “Unfortunately, there's just a strong need until they're able to find their forever homes.”

While cats and dogs retain the title of most beloved pets in the U.S., the domestic rabbit is a popular furry friend. There are more than 2 million pet rabbits across the U.S., according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Colley says that Hopalong Hollow operates entirely on volunteer efforts and donations. With about 30 to 40 volunteers, the organization is led by Linda Thibault, who has placed nearly 2,000 rabbits into homes. Currently, Hopalong Hollow houses around 70 rabbits available for adoption, many of which have been rescued from horrifying conditions.

“The whole nine yards,” Colley said. “Ranging from animals we found running loose, outside animals who've been seized in cruelty cases, rescued from backyard breeders, people who want to butcher them and slaughter them for meat.”

Colley urges prospective adopters to learn about rabbits' needs and personalities before adoption.

“A lot of people think, ‘Oh, I don't want to care for my rabbit anymore; I'll just let him loose outside,” she said. “That's never a good thing to do to domestic rabbits. They've been conditioned to not be able to hunt for their own food. They lack those skills to be able to survive in the wild.

Maricarmen Cajahuaringa is a journalist with extensive experience in Latino communities' politics, social issues, and culture. She founded Boceto Media, a digital Spanish-language newspaper based in Connecticut. Maricarmen holds a Bachelor's in Social Work from Springfield College, and a Master's in Journalism and Media Production from Sacred Heart University. As a reporter for Connecticut Public, she is dedicated to delivering accurate and informative coverage of the Hispanic/Latino population in the region. Maricarmen is an experienced and passionate journalist who strives to bring a voice to the stories of her community.