Those Rascally Rabbits
Doesn't everyone at one time or another think about buying a bunny for their children at Easter? Many of these bunnies are bought on impulse, without knowing all the responsibility a rabbit requires. Not too long after Easter, many of these bunnies are neglected or taken to local shelters once the novelty wears off.
Melissa Stockton bought a bunny for her preschooler one Easter. "We bought a baby bunny, and things were fine for a while," she says. "But when the bunny got a little older, he started to kick when Daniel picked him up. The kicks sometimes resulted in scratches and tears."
"Rabbits are ground-loving animals," says Roxanne Snopek, a registered animal health technician and author of More Great Dog Stories. "They do not particularly like to be picked up." Rabbits are also easily startled, and the energy of an active baby or toddler can frighten them. "The sudden movements and loud noises of young children make them nervous," she says. "They are physically unsuited to rough handling."
Rules were quickly established at Stockton's house. "Daniel had to sit down and put the bunny on his lap to pet him," she says. "The bunny, Peanut, was pretty tame by then and enjoyed being petted on his lap."