For the last two years, more than 60 pet rabbits have been turned over to the Louisiana SPCA following the Easter holiday from owners with buyer’s remorse.  While rabbits can be great companion animals, Louisiana SPCA spokesperson Rebecca Melanson said many people do not realize the commitment of rabbit ownership.

“They require just as much commitment as a dog or cat.  You have to potty train them, you have to bunny-proof your house, you have to make room for them in your family,” said Melanson.

Melanson said each year, in addition to the hundreds of rabbits that are turned into shelters and some people even try release rabbits in the wild in an effort to relinquish ownership.

“It’s not an okay thing to do because domestic rabbits are a totally different thing from wild rabbits,” said Melanson.

Melanson said there are great alternatives to giving bunnies and baby chickens as gifts at Easter.

“We always say that the best bunnies to go in baskets are chocolate and marshmallow chicks are a great substitute for real chicks,” said Melanson.

The average rabbit lifespan is 10 to 12 years.