As the Easter Bunny gets ready to make his rounds, The Humane Society of the United States reminds people to think twice before adding a rabbit, baby chick, or other small pet to their Easter basket.
Bringing a new pet into your home is a serious commitment that should only be made if your family is prepared to provide lifelong care for the animal. Some local and state laws regulate the ownership of animals like chickens and ducks, and those animals are not always appropriate pets. If you are sure about making this Easter the time to get a new family pet, The HSUS asks you to adopt from your local animal shelter. Animal shelters are full of sweet, loving pets looking for homes, including many cute rabbits and other adorable animals. Another consideration would be giving children a plush toy or a dark chocolate rabbit.
"Unless your entire family is committed to a pet who will need proper socialization, care and companionship for many years, think twice before adding a baby animal to your Easter celebrations," said KC Theisen, The HSUS' director of 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. TheShelterPetProject.org or PetFinder.com lists rabbits, chickens and other pets already in local shelters and rescues waiting for a new home.
Already have a rabbit? Why leave your rabbit in a cage all day when you can be having fun together! Clicker training is a great way to spend time with your new companion, and to give your rabbit the necessary social interaction and activity. Rabbits can easily learn many useful and entertaining behaviors, including coming when called, going into a carrier, using a litter box, and more. Pick up a copy of Getting Started: Clicking with Your Rabbit for tips on how to bring out the best in your bunny!