COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Volunteers at The Columbus House Rabbit Society see an uptick in domestic rabbit rescue calls every year — around Easter.
People give away rabbits as pets, but don’t think about how much work goes into taking care of them.
“We find that we actually start getting calls for dumped rabbits and abandoned rabbits, even before Easter, because people are using them for photoshoots. It looks really cute next to their child for the holidays, and then these rabbits cannot survive outside,” said Lisa Edwards, who has volunteered for the organization for two years.
Edwards fosters 10 rabbits, and she specializes in taking care of disabled rabbits. She said any rabbits’ life becomes quickly threatened by people who just think about the rabbits in the short term.
“Then they get a rabbit and you know, next thing we know, we get phone calls because, ‘Oh, my child outgrew the rabbit,’ or ‘The rabbit bit my child,’ or, ‘I don’t understand why the rabbit isn’t playing with my child,’ or, ‘My child, you know, has no time,’” Edwards said.
When volunteers go out to rescues, they find rabbits in various conditions — some fairly hungry, but healthy; others with broken limbs or skin infections. Some have ticks, and others have to be put down immediately. Others have been found dead.
The rescue has already taken in 20 rabbits this year, Edwards said, and expects it to get worse before it gets better. This year, they are putting out a warning: prepare to make a 10-year commitment to taking care of the furry friend, or go with chocolate or stuffed bunnies as gifts instead.