Getting a cute bunny, along with Easter baskets for the kids, may seem like a fun idea for Easter.
Rabbits are the third most popular pet in America, behind cats and dogs, according to the U.S. Humane Society.
They are also the third most abandoned, especially after Easter.
One local animal shelter is still encouraging rabbit adoptions for the holiday, but with a few, strict stipulations.
They are adorable. Who doesn't like Easter bunnies?
However, these cute, furry symbols of the holiday are also a whole lot of work.
"We find that people don't realize how social and how much exercise and space they need. They need toys to interact with they need a diet of fresh vegetables and hay. There's a lot more then people assume," said Carmine Dicenso with Dakin Humane Society.
Dicenso told Western Mass News that rabbits are much like dogs. They can live 10 to 12 years.
However, unlike dogs, "The rabbit's the type of animal that gets eaten by other animals, so it doesn't like being lifted off the ground, being frightened. Being approached to quickly is really going to scare them," Dicenso noted.
Rabbit rescue groups said that almost 80 percent of bunnies that are up for adoption at shelters were once purchased as Easter gifts.
Worst case scenario, they are abandoned, left to fend for themselves in the wild - a certain death warrant.
"I think it's one of the misconceptions people have is they assume that the wild bunnies running around in your yard are the same as the domestic pets you find in the shelter or other places. They are not. They cannot survive in the wild," Dicenso said.
Dakin actually encourages Easter bunny or springtime adoptions, but only with the proper education and training on the commitment of owning a rabbit.
"So with any adoption we do, whether it's a dog, cat, hamster, bird, or rabbit, part of that session is sitting down with an adoption counselor and talking about the specific needs of that animal," Dicenso added.
Dicenso said that for those who understand how to care for them, rabbits can make fantastic pets.
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