© 2023 WGLT
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Know The Facts Before Buying Pet Bunny for Easter

WCBU News/Kristin McHugh
Credit WCBU News/Kristin McHugh

If you’re thinking about buying a pet rabbit for Easter – think about a chocolate one instead. That’s the message from a Pekin-based rabbit rescue group.

Charity Gullett founded The Charitable Rabbit to help tri-county animal shelters care for surrendered bunnies. She said house rabbits are high maintenance pets. 

“They need as much exercise or room as a dog or cat,” said Gullett. “They should not be kept in small cages. And so often people think [rabbits] are going to be easier, like maybe a hamster, and that’s absolutely not true.”

Gullett said pet rabbits are considered exotic when it comes to veterinary care, often making treatment more expensive. She added there are only a handful of rabbit veterinarians in the tri-county region.

Gullett said six rabbits currently in the group’s foster care system were surrendered after last Easter. Gullett said it’s hard to know how many house rabbits bought as Easter gifts are abandoned because many are dumped outdoors. 

Credit WCBU News/Kristin McHugh

She said 99% of domestic rabbits abandoned outside die quickly because they don’t have the same instincts as wild rabbits. “They don’t know how to find their food,” said Gullett. “They’re used to you bringing it to them.” 

Gullett suggests those interested in owning a house rabbit should attend one of The Charitable Rabbit’s meet-and-greets or bunny yoga sessions at the Pekin library before deciding. National organizations such as The House Rabbit Society also offer educational resources. 

“Do your homework,” said Gullett. “Like anything that before you make a purchase of that significance you need to do your research. A rabbit can live upwards [to] 10-plus years. This is a long-term commitment and they need attention. They’re social creatures.” 

You can learn more about The Charitable Rabbit and its educational and foster programs on the group’s Facebook or Instagram pages.

We’re living in unprecedented times when information changes by the minute. WCBU will continue to be here for you, keeping you up-to-date with the live, local and trusted news you need. Help ensure WCBU can continue with its in-depth and comprehensive COVID-19 coverage as the situation evolves by making a contribution.

Copyright 2021 WCBU. To see more, visit WCBU.

Kristin McHugh is an experienced radio journalist and nonprofit manager. Most recently, she served as executive director of the Peoria Area World Affairs Council.