NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Easter Sunday is just around the corner and animal activists are approaching the holiday with a warning for parents. They are asking parents to not buy a rabbit as an Easter gift.
Rabbits may be cute, fluffy and social animals but workers at the Clover Patch Sanctuary, a rabbit and guinea pig rescue organization, says they are not low maintenance pets.
"Getting rabbits for Easter is the worst possible thing a parent can do," says Clover Patch Sanctuary President Amy Mott.
Mott says many times parents will buy a rabbit for $5 from a street vendor with no knowledge of what it takes to own one.
"What we consider them are impulse buys and impulse buys just don't do it. You're going to ruin an animals life, if you are not prepared to bring that animal home,"
Eighty percent of bunnies at the Clover Patch Sanctuary are discarded Easter bunnies. Some of them have been at the sanctuary for 4 years.
Mott says the day after Easter is when what they call dumping season begins. A family discovers they can't care for the bunny and they set it free.
"It is a horrible, horrible thing. These baby rabbits matched all these beautiful little Easter dresses and then all of a sudden they're unwanted pets," said Mott.
The animals need to be spayed and neutered, they have special housing needs and diets, they require a vet visit twice a year, and they need to be played with.
If you would like to help a bunny during the Easter holiday you can make a tax deductible donation to a shelter or you can even have your child's picture taken with one.
The bunnies at the Clover Patch will be at the Whole Foods Market in Franklin on April 19 at 10:30am.
For more information you can visit the Clover Patch Sanctuary website.