With Easter only a week away, I wanted to share what I've recently learned about rabbits. Despite - or rather because of - our association of Easter with happy bunnies, this time of year is actually a sad one for many rabbits. Every year parents and grandparents buy rabbits on a whim as Easter gifts for children. And then every year, in the weeks and months that follow, countless rabbits are abandoned at shelters, and also outdoors where they cannot survive, once shelters are filled to capacity. Rabbits are thought of as easy, low-maintenance pets, good "starter pets" for children, but this is far from the truth. In fact they live 10-12 years, require several hours of exercise daily, and can destroy a home with their need to dig, burrow and chew. Also, while they appear cute and cuddly, rabbits are prey animals who naturally fear humans and don't like to be held. It takes time and patience to earn their trust. If you're thinking of adopting a rabbit, the non-profit House Rabbit Society is a terrific resource. On their website you can find out what it takes to care for these wonderful but complex animals, as well as find lists of adoptable rabbits in your city or region.