Easter is looming and the SPCA of Texas is here to remind us that buying baby rabbits, ducklings, and chicks is not a good idea. Don't do it.
SPCA marketing & communications VP Maura Davies says that, unfortunately, most of those bought during the Easter holiday end up getting dumped at shelters.
"Although the idea of furry, fuzzy, fluff balls hopping through the fresh, spring grass may seem appealing, rabbits, chicks, and ducklings are not 'low-maintenance' pets and are not the best choice for small children, who like pets they can hold and snuggle with," Davies says.
- The average lifespan for a rabbit is 7-10 years
- The average chicken or duck lives to be about 8-12 years old. In some cases, chickens can live to be up to 25 years old.
- These animals are neither passive and cuddly. They are ground-loving creatures who feel frightened and insecure when held or restrained.
- They are fragile. Their legs and spine can easily break if dropped or handled roughly.
Rabbits require as much or even more care as a dog or cat, Davies says.
"They need to live indoors as part of the family, they need their hutches cleaned daily, and they should be spayed or neutered," she says.
Chickens and ducks also require specialized diets, habitats, and care.
To end the cycle of Easter rabbits, chicks, and ducklings getting dumped a month after Easter, Davies suggests buying a chocolate bunny or a stuffed animal instead.
Also, and it feels like this is obvious but don't feed Easter candy to your pets. Chocolate can be fatal.
"To adopt a pet is to bring home joy," Davies says. "It is also important to remember that pet ownership is a commitment for the lifetime of the pet and that it is important that the entire family make the decision to commit to caring for that pet."