Pet horror stories are a staple of the post-Easter season in the United States, day animal control and rescue officials. The Easter holiday brings out the duckling, chick, and baby bunny lovers in people. They make an impulse buy, the recipient goes wild with joy for a day, but the honeymoon soon ends and parents scramble to surrender the animals.Animal rescue staff, traditionally inundated with calls from regretful parents following Easter, are asking consumers to stop and think before buying an animal for Easter, and with good reason.
If, and it’s a big if, the animal doesn’t die from all that Easter excitement, now there’s a growing and soon-to-be mature duck, chicken (worse, a rooster), and rabbit on your hands.A pubescent rabbit is not one to cuddle. Females are prone to running in circles, lunging, and grunting, says Anne Martin, shelter director for House Rabbit Society’s headquarters in Richmond, Calif. And if you purchased a male? “The boys will spray urine ... all over the place,” says Ms. Martin, who owns six rabbits and adds that a mature rabbit is a fantastic pet. But they can be quite alarming for a new pet owner whose supplier did not warn them.Suppliers are also known for selling bunnies that have been taken away from their mothers too soon, says Mary Cotter, vice president of the House Rabbit Society.Ducklings and chicks have their own drawbacks, says Susie Coston director of the Farm Sanctuary shelter.Like bunnies, ducklings and chicks are extremely fragile. If a child plays with them like a toy instead of fine china, they are likely to die from over-handling, Ms. Coston says.
And that's not a joke.