Blog Image

Why It’s Important To Keep Your Easter Baskets Animal-Free

Spring is here! Though we love the warmer weather, with Easter around the corner we anticipate a surge in rescue requests for abandoned chicks, ducklings, and bunnies. They’re purchased as “gifts” and abandoned when the novelty wears off. Over the years, we’ve accepted Easter animals found in dumpsters, on top of a police car, and in a bag in our driveway.

As you read this, feed supply stores and pet shops around the country are awaiting shipments of live baby birds, who will arrive unprotected in boxes, after enduring long journeys that differ very little from the experience an Amazon package would have. Those who survive the journey are often sick and injured.

At the same time, pet stores are stocking up on baby bunnies. Though rabbits are the third most popular animal companion, they’re also one of the most abandoned. Families are often disheartened to find out that a $30 rabbit costs  $200 to spay/neuter, and their “exotic pet” status often means their veterinary care is more expensive. Additionally, though rabbits are cute, they’re NOT big snugglers! Rabbits also have a longer lifespan than many expect—they can live 8-12 years.

Christian and Bobby, the two rabbits who live at Catskill Animal Sanctuary, were left at the top of our driveway in dangerously cold weather with no protection from the elements or from predators. Thankfully, we found them before it was too late.

In the right home, any of these animals would make a very cute addition to any family. In some ways, rabbits in particular are great first-time pets. They are quiet, don’t need to be walked, and can be easily litter-trained. But when rabbits hit puberty, if they’re not spayed or neutered, they mark their territory and can become aggressive. Similarly, chickens and ducks can become “broody,” or they can turn out to be male. There’s about a 30% error-rate in sexing chicks, so many baby birds grow up to be roosters or drakes. It’s for this reason that sanctuaries typically care for more roosters than hens.

There’s much to be learned before you bring someone new into your home. Chicks, ducklings, and rabbits are companions just like cats and dogs. In addition to their basic needs, they need enrichment, exotic-savvy veterinary care, and lots of attention, as they are all extremely social animals. They may seem like animals who can survive in the wild, but sadly, if these domestic animals are released, they cannot survive, nor can sanctuaries meet the demand, for we are often inundated at Easter.

Please choose compassion and leave your Easter baskets animal-free. Consider sponsoring a feathered or furry friend at Catskill Animal Sanctuary instead! Not only will you get regular updates, but you’ll also be able to visit us in person! More information available below:



Love Spoken Here