As of writing this, Christmas is just a few days. Who among us hasn’t seen a video or commercial where kids open a box under the Christmas tree and there’s a new furry friend inside? Bunnies are more popular as Easter gifts, of course, but some people also consider getting a bunny for Christmas. The question is… should you?
Saving a Life
Obviously, we love the idea of saving a life instead of shopping with a breeder. Hundreds of thousands of bunnies are euthanized every single year. Our no-kill shelter is usually 100% full, with a wait list of people trying to surrender bunnies.
That said, we want to make sure that when a bunny is adopted, it doesn’t end up coming back.
The problem with bunnies for Christmas gifts is that sometimes the holiday spirit encourages us to make commitments that we can’t keep. Bunnies are living, breathing animals and they are a lot of work. They are not toys. If you have kids, you probably have a mound of toys that have been discarded as your kids have grown and lost interest. If you lose interest with a bunny and discard it, you are potentially sentencing him or her to death.
So yes, we want you to save a life! But it is important to understand what you are getting into when you adopt a live animal.
Gifts for Adults versus Children
When giving the gift of a live animal like a bunny, every adult in the household should be part of the decision. It is fun to surprise one another with gifts, but a pet isn’t just a gift; it is a commitment. No matter how responsible the person is, they may not want that commitment in their life.
They also may not connect with the animal. Animals have personalities just like humans, and the bunny that you think is cutest may not be the right choice for a gift. It is always best if the person who will own the animal picks out the animal at the shelter. Spending time with the animal allows you to ensure that personalities mesh before the adoption.
Gifts for children are a little different. In this case, a surprise might work! When gifting an animal to child, it is important that parents/guardians are on board with the gift and are willing to take responsibility for the animal. Kids change their minds and can’t be expected to act as responsibly as adults. The adults in the house are the ones who should ultimately be prepared to take on the responsibility of the animal.
Bunny Gift Alternatives
Instead of a live animal as a gift, why not consider an alternative for the animal-loving friend in your life?
- A gift certificate to a local shelter, so they can pick out their own pet or pass if they aren’t ready for the responsibility
- Sponsorship of a bunny at a local shelter – for example, we have an Animal Angels program where you get a certificate of sponsorship when you sponsor an animal, which makes and awesome gift
- Animal-themed artwork or non-living gifts, such as the swag in our Etsy shop
- A backstage program or tour at a local zoo or wildlife refuge
- A “zookeeper for a day” program or summer camp program working with animals
A bunny for Christmas isn’t a bad idea in some cases. Just make sure that you and any of the other adults in the household are 100% ready for the commitment!