Families celebrating Easter usually incorporate gifts for the kids. One popular gift is a rabbit, but before hopping down that particular bunny trail, there's a lot to consider. 

Bunnies can make great pets, but more often than not, the novelty wears off and these delicate "Easter bunnies" find themselves turned into shelters or set free in the wild to fend for themselves.

These types of domesticated rabbits are not the same as wild bunnies. A pet rabbit has no chance of surviving in the wild. 

Although small, a bunny is not a low-maintenance pet. They can be as much work, if not more, than a cat or a dog. Further, they are not suitable for small children, as they generally do not like being held and are quite fragile.

 If a family is considering getting a rabbit this Easter, make sure all are aware of the responsibilities that come with having a pet bunny. Here are some things to consider:

  • A rabbit’s lifespan is 10 to 12 years – a long-term commitment.
  • Just like cats and dogs, they require vet care, spay/neuter and vaccinations.
  • They have a special diet and require specific housing.
  • They cannot be left in a cage with just food and water. They require love, attention, exercise and room to roam and play.
  • Some don't like to be held, so they may not make cuddly pets.
  • The family dog or cat can be very frightening and cause stress for a rabbit.
  • Bunnies must live indoors to be safe from the elements, diseases and predators.
  • Rabbits have high social demands and often do best in pairs.

If a family is ready for this commitment, then hop on over to the local parish shelter or contact a rabbit rescue, such as Magic Happens Rabbit Rescue, based in Baton Rouge, at www.magichappensrescue.com.  

If the kids are insisting on a bunny, but the adults are not up for the challenge, the chocolate variety always goes over well in my house. Happy Easter!

Events

WEDNESDAY: From 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., a concert at the Gretna Farmers Market will benefit the Humane Society of Louisiana; Friends of the Humane Society of Louisiana hosts. Musicians include Rockin' Rod Schouest, Aaron Foret, Cornell Williams, Robert May, Justin Molais and Belinda Butler. The market is located between Third and Fourth streets on Huey P Long Ave. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door. Contact info@humanela.org or call Rod Schouest at (504) 630-4590.

SATURDAY: From noon to 3 p .m., Animal Rescue New Orleans holds an adoption event at Whole Foods, 3420 Veterans Memorial Blvd, Metairie. Meet adoptable dogs and get info on fostering, adopting and volunteering. For more info: adopt@animalrescueneworleans.org.

SATURDAY: Run (or walk) for the animals on Team LA/SPCA in the Crescent City Classic. All charity participants on team LA/SPCA will receive swag bags with merchandise, free entry to NOLA on Tap 2018, pre- and post-race event perks, a chance to win 2 JetBlue tickets, Damn Dog swag and a 3-month membership from New Orleans Athletic Club. Learn more about becoming a charity participant and register for Team LA/SPCA at www.la-spca.org/ccc.

TUESDAY: From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Animal Rescue New Orleans will get 15 percent of all sales at Lilly Rain, a lifestyle and clothing store at 3819 Magazine St., New Orleans. For more info: adopt@animalrescueneworleans.org

THURSDAY: From 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Animal Rescue New Orleans will be at Pet Night at the Esplanade Mall in Kenner with adoptable dogs. The Easter Bunny will be on hand for photos for a minimum $2 donation or an unopened bag of cat or dog food. For more info: adopt@animalrescueneworleans.org.

LOST OR FOUND PETS: In Orleans Parish, send a photo, description of your pet, date lost/found and contact info to lostandfound@la-spca.org. In Jefferson Parish, send to molsen@jeffparish.net and bbourgeois@jeffparish.net. In St. Bernard Parish, send to cluna@sbpg.net.

Traci D. Howerton is social media editor of Animal Rescue New Orleans, a nonprofit, volunteer-based, no-kill shelter. Contact ARNO at animalrescuecolumn@gmail.com or visit www.animalrescueneworleans.org.