The president of a rabbit shelter in Virginia estimates that 90 percent of rabbits bought at Easter won't live longer than one year.
Mary Ellen Whitehouse, the president of Bunny Lu Adoptions, says rabbits are abandoned at an alarming rate. Her all-rabbit shelter is one of the few places in Northern Virginia that takes them in and rehabilitates them.
"Most shelters are not very well-equipped to take care of them; they're more geared toward cats and dogs. A lot of shelters won't even take them," Whitehouse says.
Easter usually leads to a mass turnout of unwanted rabbits. Whitehouse says rabbits hate to be carried around, which makes them a bad pet match for young children. If a rabbit isn't spayed or neutered, it can also be aggressive.
"I'd say 90 percent of rabbits bought at Easter will not live to see their first birthday," she says.
Whitehouse says if you're having trouble with a rabbit you already purchased, call an organization like Bunny Lu. They can either help you resolve a behavioral issue, or as a last resort, take your pet in, so it doesn't end up on the street.