Distributed by Houston SPCA:

Easter is almost here and many parents try to make the dream of Peter Cottontail hopping down the bunny trail a reality for their hopeful children at this time of the year.  The Houston SPCA urges parents to think twice before they include a live baby bunny, chick or duckling in their child’s basket.  Studies have shown that the majority of these animals rarely make it to their first birthday.  A decision to bring an animal into a home should be a well-thought out one because it is a lifetime commitment.  A spur of the moment purchase of a live animal may mean heartache for the child and a traumatic and often deadly ordeal for the animal.

Baby bunnies, chicks, and ducklings are not only adorable, but also very fragile.  They can be easily injured or killed by young children who may over-handle them or handle them incorrectly.  In addition, they also have special dietary and housing needs in order for them to thrive.  Unfortunately, in the weeks following Easter, the Houston SPCA like many animal shelters across the country will receive countless unwanted Easter bunnies, chicks and ducklings.

The Houston SPCA advises parents to consider putting a cute cuddly stuffed toy animal in their child’s Easter basket this year.  They don’t eat much, require no training or grooming and there’s no mess to clean up.  You can also be a part of the solution to save these animals by making a donation in your child’s name to a local shelter or rescue group that provides care for Easter animals that become unwanted gifts.