‘Make Mine Chocolate’

–by Sue Mangold

It may be a happy time for children, but for rabbits, Easter can be a particularly dreadful time of year. The Make Mine Chocolate!™ campaign was created to raise awareness of the fate of rabbits bought as Easter pets. Many families bring cute “Easter bunnies” into their homes only to lose interest in them a few weeks or months later, making rabbits the third most common pets to be turned over to shelters. Every spring, animal shelters and rescue groups are swamped with discarded Easter rabbits. Worse yet, pet rabbits are often turned loose outside only to be killed by cars, predators or starvation.

Using the signature pin in the shape of a chocolate bunny, the Make Mine Chocolate!™ campaign was created to start a conversation about rabbit welfare during the Easter season. The goal is to arm potential rabbit owners with the information they need to determine if a rabbit is right for their family before they put a cute bunny in an Easter basket. The pins are affixed to a card encouraging the purchase of chocolate bunnies or stuffed toy animals rather than pet rabbits along with some important facts to consider before bringing a rabbit into the home. In addition, the “Interactive Bun” was created as a set of entertaining hands-on activities to explore the demands of living with a rabbit.

Because of its simplicity – the core message that rabbits should not be considered “disposable” holiday pets – virtually anyone can participate in the campaign, regardless of location, affiliation, or resources. They simply have to be able to start a conversation.

The website, makeminechocolate.org provides some basic marketing materials – flyers, posters, sample letters to editors and others – to facilitate these conversations.

This campaign continues to gain momentum as rabbits are increasingly recognized as engaging companion animals, equal to cats and dogs.

Fast Rabbit Facts:

  • Rabbits are NOT low-maintenance pets! They require as much work as a dog or cat.
  • Rabbits can live 8 to 12 years, sometimes longer.
  • The necessary spay or neuter can cost $100 or more, and rabbits require routine veterinary care.
  • Rabbits are not cuddly — they can become frightened when held!
  • Pet rabbits cannot be set “free” — it’s a death sentence.

For more information about the Make Mine Chocolate™ campaign, rabbit care and rabbit rescue/adoption, please visit

The Make Mine Chocolate!™ campaign was created by the Columbus House Rabbit Society, a licensed chapter of the House Rabbit Society. The House Rabbit Society is an international non-profit animal welfare group whose purpose is to rescue abandoned rabbits and place them in permanent, loving homes and to educate the public on proper rabbit care and behavior.

Sue Mangold is the co-founder of the Make Mine Chocolate!™ campaign.