On The Road: At the Rabbitry

 By Liz Horton - bio l email

CHARLOTTE, NC(WBTV) - As the countdown to Easter nears, rabbit sales continue to rise. I traveled to Gastonia this week to visit the most diverse rabbitry in the state.

Sonya Somerville runs Hippity Hop Parties and More. She says this time of year people make rash decisions to purchase bunnies as Easter gifts, and most of the time they don't know how much attention these animals need.

"People will of course get the bunnies and then they will find out a week or two weeks later that the kid has lost interest in the bunny and the bunny is not being taken care of."

Sonya and her children, William and Shauna are rabbit breeders and advocates. They believe in offering each rabbit a good home and a good life. That's why they will take back any rabbits you purchase from them, should you change your mind.

The Somerville's raise more than eight breeds of rabbits. They specialize in rare breeds such as English angoras, American fuzzy lops, and dwarf hotots.

Their approach to buying is different than a pet store or flea market. It costs just twenty dollars per family to visit the farm for enjoyment. While there you can play with the rabbits and ask questions get to know the personalities of each pet.

If you visit to purchase a pet, admission is free.

Hippity Hop Parties and more bred extra bunnies for Easter, but they sell rabbits year round. They are perhaps best known for throwing neighborhood and birthday parties. The rabbits travel all over the Charlotte area to give children and adults a warm fuzzy experience.

These bunnies are also involved in philanthropy.

The Somerville's travel to schools to educate students about each breed.  "We're very hands on. You know we pass all the bunnies around so the kids can ask questions," said Somerville.

They also visit nursing homes to provide therapy for stroke victims. "Their eyes light up, you don't know how it makes us feel," answered Somerville.

Each breed is unique in breed and demeanor. They come in all shapes and sizes. But, no matter which you choose, we are confident this week's pick will stir up your spring spirit and provide a fun activity for the family.

Somerville agrees, "It's a great family activity. We spend time together. We have some of our best talks in the bunny house. We really do.

To visit the farm go to Hippity Hop Parties and More's website.

 Copyright 2010 WBTV. All rights reserved.