Thursday, March 20, 2008

Easter Gifts - Live Pets Discouraged

HSUS Discourages Impulse Purchases of Live Animals for Easter Gifts

WASHINGTON -The HSUS encourages people to think twice before purchasing a live bunny, duckling or chick as an Easter gift this holiday season.

Stephanie Shain, director of companion animal outreach for The HSUS, says, "People often forget that these cute little animals grow up into adult animals who require a commitment to provide daily care for the rest of their lives." And Shain warns that this isn't always easy. "Rabbits, for example, are not so easy to keep. They require a lot of socialization and time and can't just be left stuck in a cage. Bringing any animal, including small animals like rabbits and chicks, into your home places demands on your time and financial resources and should be done only after carefully assessing your family's ability to meet the animal's needs."

Those who buy these animals on impulse are often surprised at how much they cost to maintain. For example, The HSUS estimates that new rabbit owners will spend $300 when acquiring a rabbit--$150 to cover the costs of a cage and other necessary equipment. In addition, taking care of a live animal requires regular expenses for grooming, food, toys, and other supplies. The HSUS also encourages all pet owners to save $20 per month for unforeseen expenses, such as emergency veterinary care and care for elderly pets.

Unfortunately, each year after Easter animal shelters are inundated with bunnies, ducklings, and chicks relinquished by people who bought them on a whim. Many must be euthanized due to a lack of available homes. Some animals given as Easter gifts are released into the wild when people tire of them. Unable to fend for themselves, the hapless creatures usually die of starvation or exposure to the elements, or are preyed upon by other animals. Read the entire article.
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