Look Before You Hop

by O'Rya Hyde-Keller

Including a real bunny in your child’s Easter basket may seem like a great gift idea. But each year, far too many bunnies end up in animal shelters when families realize that little Peter Cottontail is pretty high maintenance. According to the House Rabbit Society, a national nonprofit rescue and education group, rabbits are not ideal pets for children. They may look cuddly but in fact prefer not to be held or restrained. And while these small creatures appear self-sufficient, they actually need lots of socialization and plenty of toys or they will munch everything from electrical cords and PVC pipe to furniture. If you do decide that a rabbit would make a good family addition, consider adopting instead of buying. Go to rabbit.org for a list of local resources. If not, you can still include a bunny in kids’ Easter baskets; just make it a chocolate one. We recommend Bete Noire Chocolates, made with fair-trade, organic Dagoba chocolate: betenoirechocolates. com.