To the editor:
If you're a parent who is vacillating about your child's plea for an Easter rabbit, please listen to your instincts not to get one.
It's a misconception that rabbits are "easy pets"; they have special needs that often come as a big surprise to people who acquire them on a whim. Rabbits require specific foods, stimulating and "rabbit-proof" environments, and veterinarians who have knowledge of their species. They need just as much attention as a dog or cat. Rabbits often do not like being picked up and held, making them frustrating companions for young children.
It's natural for kids to get caught up in the excitement of the season, but inevitably, the novelty of getting a rabbit quickly wears off. Shelters are inundated with surrendered rabbits in the weeks following Easter, but those are the lucky ones. Many are callously dumped outdoors to fend for themselves, only to starve or be killed by predators.
Stick with the chocolate bunnies and no one gets hurt.