Local pet stores warn against impulse rabbit buying for Easter

Local pet stores warn against impulse rabbit buying for Easter
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With Easter approaching, some local pet stores are warning against impulse rabbit buying.

Some sellers have even taken rabbits off the market entirely this time of the year.

Joplin resident Michael Roy says purchasing a rabbit should not be taken lightly.

“They are very cheap to buy, but maintenance on them is very high,” Roy said. “Vet bills are very high. You have to vacuum everyday. They shed quite a bit. They chew a lot. They chew on everything.”

Local pet store owners say Easter brings an increase in the number of customers seeking to purchase pet rabbits, which is why ClawPaws Pet Shop in Pittsburg stops selling rabbits entirely the week before Easter in order to limit impulse buying.

“We take the rabbits off and keep them in the back,” said Justin Zornes, employee at ClawPaws Pet Shop. “We’d rather not sell them because we don’t buy them back. We don’t want people buying something that they don’t know what they’re getting themselves into because that isn’t good for the health of the animal itself.”

After Easter, store owners say they see a lot of attempted returns.

“Unfortunately, every year there are always three to four, maybe even more, people that come in and try to sell their rabbits back because they don’t know what they’re getting into,” Zornes said.

The Easter bunnies that are not sold back, are often left homeless.

“After Easter, people either dump the rabbits, thinking they can just live in the wild, or they just dump them off at rescues,” Roy said.

“A lot of people don’t actually realize that rabbits are quite a bit of work,” Zornes said.

Work that takes time, money and a long-term commitment.

“The average life span is 12 to 14 years, and they will live longer if you take care of them properly,” Roy said.

So if you’re not ready for that kind of an engagement, a stuffed animal or chocolate candy rabbit may be the better alternative.

Pet store owners say rabbit expenses add up, as most require re-stocking of food and hay every two weeks or less.