According to the Chinese Zodiac, 2011 is the year of the rabbit. These sweet, social animals can be wonderful companions, but are they right for your family? Animal advocate Cindy Stutts of the House Rabbit Society's New York chapter, Rabbit Rescue and Rehab, offers some helpful hints to help determine if a bunny is the right furry friend for you.

Rabbits as Pets

Relatively easy animals to care for, rabbits are clean, quiet, and use litter boxes. They have an outgoing, social personality similar to that of a dog, and don't require a yard if they are given plenty of sun-lit indoor exercise space.

Making the Commitment

Rabbits are the third most surrendered animal (behind dogs and cats) in the United States because people often get them impulsively. Parents will indulge their children with a pet rabbit at Easter or for the Chinese New Year, but when the children get bored and lose interest in their new pet, the rabbit is abandoned. Rabbits live for approximately 10 years: You should get a rabbit only if you are willing to make a long-term commitment to care for the animal, with proper veterinary attention, daily maintenance, a nutritious diet, and exercise.

Where to Adopt

Once you have decided that you are ready to commit to properly caring for a rabbit, reach out to your local animal shelter or Humane Society, or visit to find a local rabbit rescue organization in your area.

Comments (5)

Martha Stewart Member
March 19, 2014
I'm upset that you would make such a great article on adopting rabbits only to have your new spring issue equate them to ornaments -- telling people that one would be a great accessory to an Easter basket. You don't even hint about how difficult they can be to raise for a first time owner or how much care they need. Shame, Martha. Shame.
Martha Stewart Member
March 19, 2014
I am astounded that you clearly DO know the plight of rabbits, especially at Easter, and yet you still chose to use them in your rent magazine spread, suggesting that rabbits are decorative objects and a good idea for and Easter basket. I run Zooh Corner Rabbit Rescue and have used MANY of your craft and decor products for various events and fund raising endeavors. Your willful ignorance and unethical use of rabbits-as-objects has cost you our dollars. Astounding hypocrisy.
Martha Stewart Member
February 9, 2011
Rabbits make wonderful pets! I have two dwarf bunnies who have full run of my house. You just have to bunny proof the electrical cords. They get along great with my cats. Everyone is perfectly litter boxed trained. Please, adopt a bunny or two from the shelter. Mary Cummins Animal Advocates
Martha Stewart Member
February 7, 2011
Great article on rabbits as house pets. Thank you Martha Stewart! Rabbits make wonderful pets. There is a lot of misinformation about them so it is nice to see the good advice from the New York Chapter of the House Rabbit Society. Bunnies need to be neutered or spayed as soon as they reach puberty for behavioral and medical reasons. They do well in pairs and bond for life. We have one rabbit that is over 11 years old and still very active. Connie from
Martha Stewart Member
February 6, 2011
Thanks for this wonderful article. As a person with a bunny companion, I wanted to add that buns recognize a wide range of words - similar to the amount a dog learns. My bun not only knows his name, but knows the name of several treats and actions (carrot, greens, lay (down), stop, etc.). He also likes to make me laugh and lays down with me when I don't feel well.