Apr 05 2012

This Easter, don’t kill a pet.

Lots of people give their kids bunnies or chicks as an Easter tradition. What they don’t realize is that these ill-fated but cuddly animals are most likely going to die before their first birthday, like most Easter-themed pets.

Chickens and rabbits are lifelong commitments. Chickens can grow as old as 8 years, while rabbits can live up to 12 years. Unless children (and their parents!) are ready to care for this type of pet for this long, they shouldn’t be given one. They require specialized habitats and food. Gentle handling is also needed, and young children don’t always have the softest touch. Injuring or even fatally harming these delicate animals would be traumatic for both the pet and the child.

Do you know anyone who would bring home a puppy or a kitten, only to release them into the wild to certain death, or to take them to a shelter as soon as they grow out of being a cute little kitten or puppy? I don’t think I do. Yet people do the same thing with these chicks, bunnies, and sometimes ducklings.

If you are considering doing this as a treat for the little ones this year, please consider it thoughtfully. Unless you’re prepared to care for this pet throughout her life, stick with chocolate or stuffed bunnies. Spend more time decorating and hunting for Easter eggs. It will create more lasting memories, and won’t cause unnecessary harm to a living creature.

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