It’s Easter Sunday and whilst most of us are enjoying the holiday, hanging with family and friends and tucking into the umpteenth Easter egg – there are many lost souls sitting in cages, silently waiting to find a life worth living, or an end to life without love.
Ironically I’m speaking of the very creatures we idolize as the symbols of Easter – the cute and inquisitive rabbits, and fluffy little chickens. Look anywhere you please and you’ll spot an illustration or photo of an adorable bunny or chick, surrounded by Easter eggs and looking blissfully happy and well loved. Of course, the reality of life for these creatures is nowhere near this romanticized ideal.
Rabbits are among the most frequently purchased “pet” in pet shops, and subsequently, they are also very regularly dumped, or worse. After the initial excitement of owning this fluffy little pet, kids inevitably tire of the responsibility of owning a rabbit, and so the poor creature ends up spending the vast majority of his time inside his tiny hutch. Most of us don’t realise how “high maintenance” rabbits can be, so it’s an understandable mistake that parents make. Check out the graphic “He’s not a child’s toy” at the bottom of this post for more information on why rabbits make a poor choice for children’s pets – it’s well worth reading and may save you some heartache with its timely advice.
Chickens are also adorably fluffy and cute when they’re little, but as we all know, they don’t stay that way for long and at least 50% of them turn into assertive and noisy Roosters – a beautiful (yet bossy) creature who emits lusty crows at all hours of the night and morning. Some of us may love the sounds of a roosters crow, but MANY do not, particularly city dwellers who need their beauty sleep and find their bedroom windows situated way to close to your hen house to effectively mute out the magnificent warblings of your proud boy. Therefore the consequence for many thousands of roosters is that they are at best, surrendered to the pound – or at worst, they are killed. Of course the situation is similar for hens… the kids soon tire of them and so it is up to mum and dad to maintain their feeding and exercise schedule, visits to vets when they’re ill, cleaning of pens, ensuring access to loads of fresh water, straw, shelter, warmth, and so on and so forth. So you see that these animals, although cute and sweet in the beginning, and bound to bring a smile to your beloved child’s eyes and a glow of warmth to your heart for a brief and shining period of time – they do not make good long term pets for children, or even for many adults who may not be able to give them the time, space and effort they need.
And so we come to the real reason for this blog post… I wanted to bring to everyone’s attention that impulse purchasing cute and fluffy Easter animals has a dark side.. it leads to the homelessness and neglect of many beautiful creatures. I see a lot of animals come and go through these pages, running an animal adoption advertising site is a bittersweet thing – I am lucky to witness wonderful acts of kindness where so many people are willing to help defenseless animals in need, but I also am privy to the mostly unseen, dark side of pet overpopulation – the brutal necessity of euthanasia as there are far too many animals needing homes and nowhere near enough caring people to help them.
Easter highlights the plight of bunnies and chickens… and so I would like to take this opportunity to tell you about some of the many thousands that are looking for permanent, loving, informed and appropriate homes. Most of these animals are most likely the product of impulse gift giving, or they were taken on by people who just didn’t know how hard it would be to keep them. Either way, they need US to help them. I have included at the bottom of this post some great links to information on how to care for these types of animals properly – what to expect from them and how to overcome problems with training or housing. If, after reading this information you think you could offer a really great home to an animal in need – please follow THIS LINK to my Animal Actionist Facebook Page where I will be posting (mostly WA) rabbits and poultry needing adoption all day.
Again, please do not give animals as gifts or take them on because they are “cute”. Animals are long term, serious commitments for mature individuals who are financially & emotionally able to provide proper housing and full attention and care. If this sounds like you – these beautiful animals need your help.
Thanks for caring and a very Happy Easter to all you animal lovers – without you, there is no hope. Bless you all.