Friday, April 11, 2014

“Novelty” Pets


Every year hundreds of baby bunnies, chicks and ducklings are bought as “novelty” Easter gifts. While much thought is put into the “surprise” factor, often little is put into the long term care and commitment. Consequently, these animals will suffer abuse or neglect. Many will be released into the wild, ultimately facing death.

It has been reported by the U.S. Humane Society that “within the initial weeks following Easter, 30% of these novelty Easter pets will die. Another 60-70% will be "released" or left at a shelter. Most of those released or left at shelters are ill or suffering."

Every Spring, shelters are inundated with bunnies, chicks and ducklings that are dumped because the novelty has worn off. Little or no thought was put into their growth or care. They were purchased solely for human enjoyment, into homes not equipped for their needs.

Before purchasing any pet, do your research. Ask an authority; go to the proper source for information. Read, go online, learn about the animal’s needs, proper care, and expected lifespan. See what is involved to keep the animal healthy. Know what the possible pitfalls are with the pet you are considering, such as the fact that chicks and ducklings are known to carry salmonella. Consider the lifestyle of your family, as well.

Please read the following facts and information provided by the Humane Society. Take this to heart. These are real live beings with beating hearts; they are not toys.

RABBITS: Expected lifespan: 7-10 years
Facts:
Rabbits may not do well in a household with young children. They often do not like being lifted or held.
Rabbits like to dig and need to chew.
If you get multiple rabbits they should be spayed and neutered as soon as possible.
Multiple rabbits will often fight.
Weekly expenses can be in excess of $25.00 for food alone, per rabbit.
Research Sources:
www.rabbit.org

DUCKS: Expected lifespan: 8-15 years
Facts:
Ducks are very social animals, doing better kept in groups (a “paddling” or “brace” of ducks).
Ducks need a lot of space and a shelter to keep them safe.
Ducklings will need to be kept in an indoor pen/cage for the several weeks.
Research Sources:
http://keeping-ducks.net

CHICKENS: Expected
 lifespan: 5-8 years
Facts:
Chickens naturally scratch, peck and dig. If housing is inadequate, they will cause damage.
Many towns and cities have regulations concerning chickens, regarding them “livestock”. 
Health and zoning boards should be consulted. 
Chickens are noisy, but roosters are especially noisy!
Research Sources:
http://www.backyardchickens.com


Linked to: "Pondering"
Word Prompt: Novel or Novelty

20 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks, T. I am glad to know others feel this way.

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  2. I hate when this happens...totally with you!

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  3. The kids are begging me for a bunny! And in our animal loving house, the novelty would probably not wear off....but as you say: bunnies and kids don't actually go well together. And we are not equipped to house one, so it would just be a cruel life for the bunny. I'd much rather take them to our friends farm to visit. That way they can hold and pet the ones that enjoy it - but also learn exactly what goes into caring for them as well.

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    1. You are an excellent mom and would be an excellent mom to any FurKid. You think things through. You teach your children. Exposing them to your friends farm is an excellent idea. I know you will do what is right for your family, and any possible FurKid.
      I had four pet rabbits when I was a kid of age 10-13. In our huge back yard, I had four hutches in a row for them. Each had a distinct personality, two hated being held, and would claw and bite. One would freeze when held, and her little heart would race. One did not mind at all, and was quite social. They were a lot of work, but I did it!
      Having a pet is like having a kid. People really need to think it through before, not after making it a member of the family. It is a responsibility, a commitment of love and care.

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  4. Thank you for your kind comments in my blog.
    I am surprised to know that so many people give animals as Easter gifts. I wouldn't give animals to anyone, and I wouldn't want anyone to give me pets.

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    1. I agree. It generally is not a good idea to surprise someone with a pet. Research and thought needs to be put into it. The person has to want to commit to the care and nurturing of the pet.

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  5. Yes, yes, yes! Don't buy them if you don't have a plan to take care of them for their whole lives! Thank you for spreading the word.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Mimi. I feel strongly about this issue. I know you do, too.

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  6. Annie,
    This is a great post and so poignant,
    Also very good information in there!
    Thanks for pondering with me

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Brenda. I appreciate that. I care about critters, as well as people.

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  7. Very well done friend. I wish more people would do research on the type of animal they think they want to adopt. Our shelters are full and it's not fair to the animal.

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    1. Exactly. If you still want a pet, rescue and shelters are good places to start looking, too.

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  8. Being at our shelter on a regular basis I see roosters and bunnies often. I would love to see a law banning the sale of baby animals like these during the holidays. They should not be purchased on a whim, no animal should. If someone really wants a pet they need to visit the animal shelter but not before doing research on caring for a pet.

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    Replies
    1. Exactly. I am always happy to hear from others who feel as I do about this. Thanks!

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  9. I want a surprise duck, or rabbit for Easter. I love ducks and rabbits! Jk!

    I don't think wildlife should be kept as pets! : )

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  10. There really should be some kind of law against selling animals within 30 days of Easter to curb the impulse buying. Having an animal as part of your family should take as much thought and concern as having a baby...oh wait....maybe that's the problem. I think it may be those who breed without thinking that give these animals to those children.

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