Save Easter Bunnies: adopt, don’t shop

 Wrong time to buy a bunny?

Where do 80% of Easter bunnies bought from pet shops go?

Answer: Into animal shelters

Friends of Alex rescued a little injured rabbit, abandoned in a cage at a construction site. Her friends lacked room for an inside pet. Alex examined the rabbit’s bloody front paw, then she took the little white rabbit to a veterinarian clinic. She paid Vet bills Alex could barely afford. She nursed the little rabbit to health, giving liquid antibiotics every four hours and cleaning his wound. We all visited the rabbit and celebrated when the Vet pronounced Alex had saved his crushed left front paw.

Alex named the little rabbit, Yoshi. Yoshi means lucky in Japanese. You can read Yoshi rabbit heals hearts and leg on this blog.

Alex holds Yoshi the rabbit she rescued.
Alex holds Yoshi the rabbit she rescued.
What a joy that our daughter loves animals.

We both learned so much from adopting our first house rabbit together. After we had lost both of our long-lived dogs, a bunny mirrored Alex’s seven-year-old moves. He lived in a bottom cage at the Rohnert Park Shelter. Alex said, “Hey mom. There’s a bunny looking at me.” When we met with that bunny, we felt impressed with his curiosity and confidence. He hopped over to her then to me on the visiting room sofa. Paris helped us recover from the empty place in our lives and helped us heal our grieving hearts.  Paris turned out to have an outgoing personality, loved to leap and explore. In the photograph below, I think you can see how much Alex loved him, right off.

Alex rarely carried him. Bunnies don’t like that.
Holding a pet rabbit safely.
Every pet wants to feel safe
Rental troubles in keeping Yoshi

Alex asked her landlord if she could kept Yoshi. The landlord chose a spot the garage for the rabbit. Although this began as a mutual interest, the rescued little Yoshi became a source of argument. Because Alex lives a busy life, working a job and taking college courses, she did not have all time Yoshi needed for company. Marc brought little Yoshi home for foster care. I gave him an Ex-Pen and little litter box tray. We bought hay and cut apple branches for him to chew.

We give Yoshi foster-care.
Hi, can we play now?
Me holding Yoshi.


Alex rescued Yoshi and saved his paw. We wanted to keep Yoshi as a pet. So we crated Yoshi and Tuxedo and drove to Rohnert Park Animal Shelter. We love their knowledgeable and friendly bunny volunteers and staff. We asked them to help us with a bunny date.

Whoa, this is a squeeze.
Rescued little Yoshi
Our bunny date went wrong!

After Yoshi’s first nail trim, we put her in an Ex-pen. But when we added our recently adopted pet rabbit,  Tuxedo, he took off like a bullet train, making tracks over to poor little Yoshi. Clearly, we could not keep Yoshi as a companion to Tuxedo. No room in our home to keep them separately either.

We must give up Yoshi to get a home

Marc, Alex and I asked people who had indoor rabbits if they wanted Yoshi. No one followed through. We turned down offers of people who kept their rabbits outside. Indoor rabbits live longer, healthier lives. Mosquitos and fleas infect USA pet rabbits with an incurable disease. Our USDA has not approved the vaccine so all we can do is keep the insect carriers away from pet rabbits in the USA.

All the rescues and local animal shelters rabbit space was FULL! Mickey Zeldes, Director of Rohnert Park Animal Shelter, shared the distressing news network. The majority of local animal shelters suddenly filled with abandoned rabbits.

Because Yoshi was found outside all city limits, the only option turned out to  surrender at our county animal shelter. They have a small, outdoor rabbit section. Finally, I called and spoke with staff and management at our county animal shelter. They  promised they would keep Yoshi or send him on to Save a Bunny in Marin. Yoshi would be put up for adoption immediately after I paid the surrender fee.

Marc and I did the surrender together. We questioned the staff and visited their rabbit pens. Although winter had turned the weather cold, we knew Yoshi needed a forever home. When we completed Yoshi’s surrender, I felt terrible. So terrible, that we drove back the next day to visit Yoshi. Every few days, we visited. Yoshi acted lively. He recognized us. Yoshi was now on a special diet. All the while, I kept blogging, posting to Facebook and Twitter trying to get Yoshi adopted.

Waiting. Waiting. Waiting.

Sonoma County Animal Care and Control posted Yoshi’s photograph on Facebook. But it took two long months for Yoshi’s forever home to happen.

Yoshi got adopted! Yoshi’s new mom knew all about house rabbits and put him on a special diet.

Surprise! Yoshi lost the gray smudges on his nose and ears. Yoshi now looks whiter than fresh snow. Plus, Yoshi got picked as an animal shelter calendar pet, the only rabbit!

Most Easter Bunnies have bad luck

Before you buy or adopt an Easter Bunny, please visit the Huffington Post on the growing problem of homeless pet rabbits. Easter Bunny Adoptions: 80 Percent Of Bunnies Purchased On Easter Are Abandoned (What You Can Do)

American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has a tidy post on General Rabbit Care.

  1. Please share on Facebook, etc. & reblog.
  2. Help pet rabbits find homes.
  3. Educate families about pet rabbits and why adoption keeps being the best option for all.

One thought on “Save Easter Bunnies: adopt, don’t shop

  1. What an excellent post, Deborah. Yoshi is adorable, and I’m glad he got adopted. I know this week is an especially “busy” time for bunny adoptions, and I just wish more people could read your highly informative posts before they impulse adopt.


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