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Requiring a lot of care, they often end up in animal shelters only weeks after the holiday.

Rabbits are sold across America every year as Easter gifts, but they are not a good first pet or an animal to give to a child, as they are quite fragile, easily harmed and require a lot of care.

Ninety-five percent of rabbits purchased for Easter end up in shelters shortly afterward or are abandoned in the wild. Domestic rabbits lack survival skills and will die in the wild, as they cannot fend for themselves, are prey animals and/or quickly become sick and die. Those turned in to animal shelters are largely euthanized.

If you cannot keep your rabbit, the most humane option is to find a rabbit rescue that will be able to care for and re-home your rabbit. If you choose to keep your rabbit, there are a few things you should know. First, they are easily litter box-trained, very intelligent and will bond with you.

They get bored easily and need an abundance of toys to keep them entertained. They should never be kept in cages as they need space to run; their muscles will atrophy and their bones will break if they are kept in cages. They do, however, still need a place to hide out and claim as their territory.

They require a constant supply of rabbit-safe wood/toys to chew on to keep their teeth from overgrowing and to appease their need to chew, rather than chewing on your things, which they will do if they don't have their own things.

Never bathe a rabbit. Never turn a rabbit on its back, as that causes fear-induced paralysis. While they're a lot of work, if you do your research, you'll find that after taking the time to train your rabbit and getting to know each other, it will be worth the effort.

Kaia Adams is a Beaverton resident who works in a preschool and is a college student.


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