Rabbits are popular gifts around Easter, but many soon learn that they're not the easiest of pets.
Today, the East Bay SPCA will host rescuers from near and far in an event designed to inform residents on proper care and give them a chance to meet adoptable bunnies.
Karen Johanson, director of the monthly event and member of the East Bay Rabbit Rescue, said the event is an opportunity to bring the bunnies to the people since the rescuers are scattered throughout the East Bay, from Fairfield to Hayward to Stockton and everything in between.
It's also important for the potential adopters to know a little bit more about raising rabbits.
"Over the past 20 years, we've learned a lot about rabbit care," Johanson said. "People used to raise them in the hutch outside and that's completely wrong; the rabbits live for only two or three years. Indoors, they live 10 to 14."
In addition to debunking bunny myths, there's one common one that is absolutely true: their ability to multiply quickly.
"Rabbit births overwhelm the system," she said. "We try to get people to spay their animals, so we have fewer animals coming through our system. Rabbits are the third most euthanized animal in the United States."
There are literally hundreds of bunnies to be adopted in the East Bay, with one rescuer in Stockton caring for about 80 all by herself, Johanson said.
The other biggest issue is the misconception that these cute and cuddly animals are easy pets.
"People think it's a great idea to put them in an Easter basket," she said. "But they're a complex creatures, not a starter pet. They aren't getting a gerbil or something like that, it's more like getting a bet between (the difficulty level of a) a dog and a cat."
The rabbit adoption events take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the first Saturday of every month, including today, at the East Bay SPCA, located at 4651 Gleason Drive in Dublin. The adoption fee is $50.
To learn more about the East Bay Rabbit Rescue, visit www.eastbayrabbit.petfinder.com.