With Easter around the corner, the temptation to bring home spring bunnies and chicks is high, but shelters are asking the public think twice about the decision to adopt.
Each year animal shelters receive a surge of unwanted “Easter Pets” after the holiday, contributing to rabbits being ranked the third most frequent animal turned in to animal shelters. Many are also victims of unintentional abuse by uninformed caregivers or are released into the wild where they are unable to survive.
Though the shelters are not discouraging people from adopting pets, Carl Arky with the Humane Society of Utah said they are asking people to be prepared.
"They’re not a perfect fit for every family and so that’s why we see so many of them come back," said Arky. "We would prefer to see them stay in the homes and so we are encouraging people to think it through, make an informed decision, make a wise decision, make a lifetime commitment and be able to keep that with you for the rest of its life."
Arky said several factors to think about include the time and attention needed to care for the animal, space, diet, veterinary and cleaning needs, and also a pet’s personality.
"You need to really understand what rabbits are like and the different types of rabbits that are out there. We always encourage, whether it’s a rabbit or a cat or a dog, that whoever is thinking of adopting, spend some time with that animal at an animal shelter," said Arky.
With all care considerations, the Humane Society suggests the public consider giving stuffed or chocolate bunnies to celebrate and save adoption considerations until after the holiday.