When my sister and I were young, we always asked for a cute little yellow chick or a baby bunny for Easter. We thought that would be so sweet.
However, our grandparents and parents were much wiser than we were, and we didn’t get any sweet little creatures in our Easter baskets.
I was reminded of their wisdom when reading the “Dear Abby” feature in our local newspaper. A reader had written in and asked Abby to reprint a letter about Easter bunnies and chicks that had appeared previously in her column. This reader had owned rabbits for eight years and wanted to be sure that others knew that many bunnies and chicks purchased for Easter were disposed of the very next day. How sad!
The reprinted letter said that there are still many parents purchasing these animals as pets for their children. But the original letter writer asked these questions:
1. Is the family willing to care for the rabbit for 7 – 10 years, the average lifespan of a rabbit.
2. Do they have room in their home for a rabbit cage?
3. What happens if the child gets tired of the rabbit after a few months?
4. Do they have the finances needed to have the rabbit spayed or neutered and to provide other veterinary care?
5. Do they know that a rabbit’s spine and legs may break if the rabbit is dropped? Will they keep children younger than seven from picking up the rabbit?
6. Will they be willing to make an escape proof place outside the rabbit’s cage so it can exercise for three hours every day?
7. Are the adults as excited about having a rabbit as a pet as the children appear to be?
8. Do they know that many rabbits really don’t like to be held?
Today and tomorrow, as parents and grandparents prepare to give their little ones special Easter treats, I hope that they will think about these things, and choose only to include toy stuffed bunnies and chicks in the children’s baskets.
This blog feature written by Pam Todd, www.bagsandmorebypam.artfire.com, an avid animal lover and member of the Crafting for Animals Guild on Artifire.