Animal Advocate Discourages Pets As Easter Gifts

Animal Advocate Discourages Pets As Easter Gifts
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HILLSBOROUGH, N.J.: Who doesn't love an adorable bunny rabbit or baby chick, especially around Easter time? However, have you ever wondered why the association with baby bunnies, for example, and Easter has occurred?

The Easter bunny and Easter eggs originated as pagan symbols of spring and rebirth. Over the centuries, these ancient symbols became associated with the Christian holiday of Easter. Easter baskets, filled with colorful Easter eggs and candy are holiday traditions. However, the live baby chicks and rabbits also became an unfortunate part of the gift-giving celebration.

Unless you plan on caring for a rabbit, chicken, rooster or even a duck for its entire life, please do not buy this pet for yourself or obtain one (or more) to give to others, especially children, as an Easter gift. Those adorable little babies grow up and will need a lifetime of care. Each animal presents its own challenge for adequate living space, food, and health care, too detailed to cover here. Unless you or the receiver of your "gift" is fully prepared, there is a good chance the animal will be viewed as disposable and join the thousands that already occupy shelters across the country.

Some have even abandoned these pets in the wild, assuming they can fend for themselves. They cannot and will eventually expire. In addition, depending upon the state where you live, it may also be considered illegal to abandon an animal, whether by dumping it in a public place or leaving it anywhere without providing for its needs.

Before you bring home any animal, please consider the years of responsibility it entails. Do your research about the animal, prepare your home for its arrival, and do your best to give it the love and care it deserves for its entire lifetime. When possible, please adopt from a local shelter or rescue group.