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Animal rescue advocates warn not to buy live bunnies for Easter: ‘They’re not gifts, they’re pets’


CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. — Animal rescue advocates are warning people to think twice about giving a real bunny for Easter.

Retailers typically sell rabbits at low prices in the spring, according to the National Humane Education Society.

But their purchase has real consequences.

The organizations said families can expect their fluffy new pet to come with a 10-year commitment and a cost of thousands of dollars in veterinary care supplies.

Along with all the hours of cleaning and childcare, this can leave families overwhelmed and eventually lead them to turn animals over to local shelters.

SEE ALSO: Chicago animal shelters desperate for pet adoptions, foster homes as rescues reach crisis levels

The director of the Hoppy House Rabbit Rescue in Chippewa Falls, Wis., said they usually get around 30 calls for new surrenders in the months after Easter.

“Don’t buy live animals for Easter, bunnies and chicks, don’t. They’re not gifts, they’re pets, they’re part of the family,” Nicole Estenson said.

Rabbits get bored, angry and destructive when neglected or locked in a cage, the rescue group said in a recent Facebook post.

Instead of offering live bunnies and chicks, the group suggests sticking to their edible versions, like chocolate bunnies, eggs and PEEPS.

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