This Easter marks the first year a new California animal welfare law designed to protect rabbits goes into effect. California is the first state in the US to ban live rabbit sales at pet stores—an effort to cut back on the number of rabbits that are either abandoned, surrendered to shelters, or euthanized after Easter.
This is the same law that also bans the sale of commercially bred dogs and cats in pet stores. Pet stores can still house adoptable dogs, cats, and rabbits from local animal shelters.
According to an article from Reuters, animal shelters see a spike in rabbit intakes one to three months after Easter. The House Rabbit Society notes that thousands of rabbits, many still under one year old, are surrendered to California shelters.
Under the new law, rabbits will still be available for adoption from animal shelters and rescue groups, so California rabbit fans have the opportunity to provide a new forever home for rabbits in need!