The Humane Society of the United States reminds people to refrain from acquiring live chicks and rabbits as Easter gifts this holiday season. Instead of live animals as gifts, consider giving children a plush toy or a chocolate rabbit.
“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 rabbits sold or adopted as pets 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 decision to add any new pet to your household, whether it be a baby rabbit or chick, a puppy or kitten, or any other pet, should not be made on impulse. The HSUS’s resources on rabbit care and adopting and caring for backyard chickens can help you decide whether a rabbit or a chicken is the right pet for you. Then visit www.ShelterPetProject.org to find rabbits, chickens and other pets already in local shelters waiting for a wonderful new home like yours.