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Easter often invokes a sense of family tradition. These may include such things as bonnets, brightly colored eggs, baskets, and chocolate bunnies. But what if your child asks you for a live bunny rabbit? Before you go out and buy an "Easter bunny," consider the responsibility of caring for a rabbit.
To eliminate the common misconceptions of a rabbit, petMD's Vladimir Negron spoke with Heather Dean, community outreach spokesperson for MakeMineChocolate.org, a campaign led by the Columbus House Rabbit Society (CHRS), a non-profit organization devoted to finding permanent, loving homes for abandoned rabbits and educating the public's understanding of rabbits as companion animals. Here's what she had to say:
Unfortunately, rabbits are the third most euthanized animal in U.S. animal shelters, right after dogs and cats. And in about three months animal shelters around the country will be bombarded by rabbits that people just don't want anymore. "Easter, therefore, may not be the best time to purchase a rabbit," says Dean. "Do your research before getting a rabbit, and really talk to your family and make sure it's clear who is taking care of the rabbit...because rabbits are not an appropriate pets for kids and they are high maintenance."
And what if your child asks you for a chick or a duckling instead of a rabbit? Cute as they may be when they are babies, they will grow up. Chickens and ducks are harder to find homes for than rabbits, and to meet the demand during Easter, hatcheries and farms often increase the normal output of chicks and ducklings, increasing the stress on the animals and making them more prone to disease. One such disease, Salmonellosis, causes diarrhea, fever, and stomach pain in humans, especially in the elderly and young children.
To many, springtime represents a renewal of life. Be certain that you are not sacrificing the life of an innocent creature for a little Easter joy this year.
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