Pet owners be aware: cats, dogs and especially bunnies, chicks and ducklings are at risk every Easter.
— Easter lilies can cause kidney failure in cats; small amounts of the plant are fatal.
— Candy containing chocolate and candy wrappers should be kept safe from dogs and all other pets. Peanut butter candies may contain xylitol, which is also toxic to dogs.
— Giving live animals in the Easter basket is not a good idea. Easter is a killer for bunnies, chicks and ducklings.
Rabbits make poor pets for small children. Most rabbits do not like to be picked up and held and may scratch or bite in an effort to get free or be injured when dropped. The typical “Easter bunnies” illegally sold on the streets or in pet stores are usually babies, taken from their mothers before they are properly weaned. They will die soon after purchase — hardly a fun experience for kids.
Baby chicks and ducks also need a proper environment and diet. Ducklings will drown when left in the bathtub with no way to get out. When they grow up, chicks may turn into roosters that disturb neighbors. In an urban environment where owning them violates zoning laws, many adult chickens end up in animal shelters or are set free into environments where they can’t survive.
Michelle Kelly of Los Angeles Rabbit Foundation emphasizes, “Before adopting any animal, it’s critical to learn about proper care in advance. Buying an animal on impulse is irresponsible and can result in injury or death to the animal and a negative experience for our children. Instead, we can create a positive experience by fostering or volunteering for reputable rescues such as Los Angeles Rabbit Foundation, prior to adoption.”
Recommendations For Easter:
A stuffed toy bunny or chick is a safer option than a real rabbit (or any live animal) for snuggling. Chocolate candy rabbits and eggs are usually a big hit in the Easter basket.
Rabbit Specific Care:
It’s important to learn about basic rabbit care before acquiring a bunny. If a rabbit is the right pet for your family, adopt or foster from an organization that spays/neuters, vaccinates for Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease and house-trains the rabbits, and can tell you about their behavior.
Rabbits make wonderful companion animals in the home. They’re intelligent, social, learn to use a litter (hay) box and make ideal apartment pets. But it’s critical to know what you’re getting into with a rabbit. They chew and veterinary bills can be high. Fostering is an excellent way to find out what it’s like to live with a rabbit, without making a long-term commitment, and helps save many lives.
Emergency Care for Pets:
Keep your regular veterinary clinic and a local 24/7 emergency veterinary clinic numbers and addresses handy for pet emergencies. ASPCA Poison Control: (888) 426-4435.
For more information, visit www.larabbits.org.