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April 2, 2012

Baby Chicks and Rabbits are not Easter Gifts, Says The HSUS

The Humane Society of the United States is asking people to make the humane choice and 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 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 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 be considered carefully to ensure you have the time and resources to devote to the animal’s long-term care. 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.TheShelterPetProject.org or www.PetFinder.com to find rabbits, chickens and other pets already in local shelters and rescues waiting for a wonderful new home like yours. 

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Media Contact: Raúl Arce-Contreras, rcontreras@humanesociety.org, 301-721-6440. 

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