It’s tempting to give animals as gifts when you know a child’s face will completely light up at the gesture. But, just as you shouldn’t give puppies or kittens for Christmas (unless you know 100% that the recipient has the time and effort to put into raising one), you should also avoid the trend at Easter. Rabbits, chicks, and ducklings become targets for breeders when spring rolls around, but before you rush out to pick one up as a surprise from the Easter bunny, consider these facts from The Humane Society of the U.S.:
“‘Rabbits and chickens can make wonderful companions, but those adorable babies grow up quickly into adults that will need proper socialization, care, and companionship for many years,’ said Inga Fricke, The HSUS’ director of sheltering and pet care issues.
After cats and dogs, rabbits are the animals most frequently surrendered to animal shelters, largely because people acquire them as youngsters but aren’t prepared for the long-term commitment involved. Others are simply released into backyards by people who mistakenly believe they will be able to fend for themselves. Unlike wild rabbits, domestic pet rabbits cannot survive on their own outdoors. Chickens also need dedicated, consistent care and far too many of them end up in shelters, rescues and sanctuaries as well.”
The HSUS recommends giving children stuffed or chocolate options instead of a live animal for Easter, unless you are committed to giving the animal the loving, long-term care it deserves. And always adopt—don’t shop.